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Today, I have signed into law S. 1311, the “Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2017” (the “Act”).  The Act represents an important step in bolstering the United States Government’s efforts to combat human trafficking.

The Act, however, raises a constitutional concern.

Section 5 of the Act requires the Department of Homeland Security to take “affirmative measures to avoid arresting, charging, or prosecuting human trafficking victims for any offense that is the direct result of their victimization.”  My Administration will interpret this provision consistent with the prosecutorial discretion of the executive branch and the President’s constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.


December 21, 2018.