Hillary Clinton today agreed with MSNBC host Joe Scarborough that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sending 50 undocumented migrants to Martha’s Vineyard is “literally human trafficking.” There are good-faith reasons to oppose the transportation to migrants to the island, but, as a legal matter, this is legally nonsense.
On the program, Scarborough repeated the common claim that this transportation qualifies as “human trafficking.” In fairness to Scarborough and Clinton, some law professors have echoed this view which is wholly at odds with not just the governing statutory provisions but controlling case law.
Clinton, who is a lawyer, chimed in with the same dubious analysis:
“I think, Joe, you have laid out the craziness of the time in which we’re living where some politicians would rather not only have an issue but exacerbate it to the extent of literally human trafficking, as you said.”
So MSNBC and these legal experts are telling the public that the consensual transport of migrants within the country constitutes human trafficking. Human trafficking is not synonymous with moving humans in traffic. It is a legal term and a serious crime. It is always dangerous to introduce actual law into these legal claims, but it is worth noting a couple of salient facts.
This is not a program designed to put people in “peonage” under 18 U.S.C. 1581. Under 22 U.S.C. § 7102(11), prosecutions are based on “sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age” and “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.”
Neither is at play in this program.
The Justice Department has long interpreted its mandate for prosecution under this provision as addressing “a crime that involves exploiting a person for labor, services, or commercial sex.”
Denver is set to provide 140 homeless people with $12,000 in no-strings-attached cash to see if it lifts them out of destitution – as a last-ditch effort to combat soaring crime rates and clean up squalid encampments in Dem-led city
- Denver has allocated $2million from the American Rescue Plan Act to fund the program, which will be run by the Denver Basic Income Project
- The program, which in total will cost around $9million, is seeking to help around 820 people, but the $2million provided by the city will fund around 140 people
- The program will be divided into three groups with 260 receiving $6,500 upfront then $500 a month for 12 months
- Another 260 will get $1,000 a month for 12 months and 300 will get $50 stipends to complete surveys to help see how the program is working
- The participants will be chosen at random but will largely derive from women, transgender, and non-binary individuals