Signing Statement 2018-025


Text of the Signing Statement from the White House website


Statement by the President       

   NATIONAL SECURITY & DEFENSE       --     Issued on: December 21, 2018


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.





Sources for the Signing Statement

  1. White House website
  2. PDF from GPO
  3. HTML text at GPO

Text of the Affected Law

S. 1311, the Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2017, has been designated as Public Law number 115-392.

The text of S. 1311 from the Government Printing Office (GPO) is available as follows:

1.  PDF downloaded from the GPO - not yet available
2.  PDF on the GPO website - not yet available
3.  Plain text from the GPO - not yet available
4.  Enrolled text from the GPO