Trump Calls for Death Penalty in the Fight Against Child Trafficking

Trump Calls for Death Penalty in the Fight Against Child Trafficking
Former president and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump prepares to deliver remarks at a Nevada Republican volunteer recruiting event at Fervent: A Calvary Chapel in Las Vegas on July 8, 2023. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Savannah Hulsey Pointer

Former President Donald Trump released a campaign proposal on July 21 saying that he would subject human traffickers to the death penalty, as part of his latest anti-crime proposal for his 2024 White House bid.

Mr. Trump also used the campaign video to endorse the nationwide box office hit “Sound of Freedom,” which tells the story of a Homeland Security Department agent who says he has spent years investigating pedophiles and child trafficking rings.

The former president is running for his second term after losing to President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. Mr. Trump is currently the frontrunner among the Republican candidates and is thought likely to be facing Mr. Biden in the 2024 general election.

“When I am back in the White House, I will immediately end the Biden border nightmare that traffickers are using to exploit vulnerable women and children,” Mr. Trump said in a video released by his campaign on July 21.

This week, the former president showed the movie at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

“I will urge Congress to ensure that anyone caught trafficking children across our border receives the death penalty immediately,” Mr. Trump added in his video.

As part of his plan, the former president proposed reinstating Title 42, a policy from the pandemic era that was repealed this year, which allowed border protection to expeditiously expel illegal immigrants and return individuals trafficked across the border to their home countries.

In the new campaign video, Mr. Trump asserted that during his term in office, child trafficking was “down to the lowest number in many years just four years ago” but “now it’s gone through the roof.”

“Under my leadership, we did more than any administration in history to combat human trafficking and to end modern-day slavery,” he said, before listing the legislation he signed during his term.

Cast’s Support for Trump

“Sound of Freedom” actor Jim Caviezel had positive words about the former president while on “Fox and Friends” on July 20 promoting his new film.

On the topic of child trafficking, Mr. Caviezel said, “We’ve got to do a lot more,” and added that: “We’ve got to start with Donald Trump.”

Mr. Caviezel explained his comments saying that Mr. Trump needed to be back in the White House, “because he’s going to go after the traffickers.”

Following the screening in New Jersey the presidential candidate called the movie “an incredible inspiration.”

“Jim, that was unbelievable. What a job,” Mr. Trump said, telling producer Eduardo Verastegui: “You made this the hottest movie anywhere in the world. I just want to thank you all. That was unbelievable acting, and Tim [Ballard], what an incredible job you did. Somebody’s got to do it, and you did, you did.

“That was a great movie, and I now understand why it’s doing so well, it’s setting records, by the way, it’s beating the biggest movies out, some of the biggest summer blockbusters, it’s knocking their socks off,” he said. “I’d love to have your potential!”

Trump also joined Mr. Ballard on his podcast after the screening.

The Film’s Success

After only two weeks in theaters, “Sound of Freedom,” which was produced by Angel Studios, has grossed nearly seven times its budget.

The film’s commercial success has occurred years after its production, enduring a corporate merger, the COVID-19 pandemic, and reports of several faulty screenings. The film sheds light on a dark and shadowy world, particularly child sex trafficking.

The film owes a great deal to two men who wanted everyone to see it: Eduardo Verastagui, the film’s producer and co-star, and Bob Unanue, the president of Goya Foods.

“Sound of Freedom” has just surpassed $100 million at the box office, with $85 million coming from domestic theaters. It cost $14.5 million to produce.

In its second week, audience attendance increased by more than 30 percent, and more than 10,000 verified audience members have contributed to its perfect audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

In addition, it continues to compete with mainstream films with significantly lighter and more entertainment-oriented subject matter and significantly larger budgets.

But if not for the assistance of food giant Goya Foods, this successful film might have never been released in theaters.

20th Century Fox initially ordered “Sound of Freedom” with Mr. Verastagui already attached as a producer and supporting actor.

The film, however, became one of the numerous Fox projects canceled following the merger with The Walt Disney Company.

“We helped him buy [“Sound of Freedom”] from Disney [and] became executive producers on that,” Mr. Unanue told The Epoch Times in a phone interview. “It just so happened that several years later trying to get it distributed that Angel Studios appeared on the scene.”

The film was finished prior to the COVID-19 epidemic. Despite Disney’s release of the rights, the producers of the theater-closing event would have to wait a little longer.

Angel Studios acquired the distribution rights in 2023.

Catherine Yang and T.J. Muscaro contributed to this report. 
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