ACLU of Mass.: Plan to Use Inmates to Build Border Wall 'Modern-Day Slave Labor'

A U.S. Border Patrol vehicle patrols next to a fence at the U.S.-Mexico border on Jan. 5, 2017, near McAllen, Texas. The number of incoming immigrants has surged ahead of the upcoming presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, who has pledged to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
John Moore/Getty Images)

Last week, during his swearing-in ceremony, Bristol County, Mass., Sheriff Thomas Hodgson proposed offering inmates as free labor if President-elect Donald Trump decided to go forth with his plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

As it turns out, some civil rights advocates, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts included, aren't very keen on the idea.


“The proposal is perverse,” Laura Rótolo, staff counsel with the ACLU of Massachusetts, told the Boston Globe in a phone interview. “It’s inhumane, and it’s most likely unconstitutional. It’s also likely an attempt by Sheriff Hodgson just to ride this wave and become famous nationally. … I hope we don’t have to take this proposal seriously.”

Rótolo added that the ACLU would take any steps necessary, including taking Hodgson to court, if he insisted on "this gimmick" of sending inmates to the border.

"The wall itself … is based on racism and hatred, and no self-respecting Massachusetts official should have anything to do with it," she added, blasting the plan as "modern-day slave labor."

"The idea of using modern-day slave labor to send people thousands of miles away from their Massachusetts home to build a wall to keep out other vulnerable populations—it’s just preposterous,” she said.


Read more at the Boston Globe

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