Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has signed a new bill that will undo decades of child labor protections in the state – all so that corporations can exploit a cheap, renewable source of labor to make a profit. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has signed a new bill that’ll undo decades of child labor protections in the state so that corporations, and here it is, corporations want to exploit the immigrants that are coming into this country. They want to exploit a cheap labor, a renewable source of labor to make a profit. It all centers, understand, think about this. We’ve seen this coming up in Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and New Hampshire all at one time. Why? Because all of these immigrants are coming into the country and we realize that we can have, you know, the children working in every kind of job, whether they lose their arm, doesn’t make any difference, they lose their arm, ship ’em back to Mexico or Guatemala, no harm done. We can pay ’em poverty wages. So all of a sudden, US Chamber of Commerce, man, they’re excited about this, aren’t they?

Farron Cousins: They really are. And Sarah Huckabee Sanders has taken, you know, the first step for this. We’re undoing, you know, almost a hundred years of progress on child labor here in the United States. We’re just undoing it at rapid pace. And I just wanna show this too. These are the kids. They were standing next to her while she’s, you know, smiling with her bill. These are the kids. Look at how terrified their little faces are, because I feel like the kids understand how horrible this is. You got the parents in the background cheering it on, smiling. Good, put little Timmy to work in the coal mine.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: But another thing that people need to understand, this is something I learned, for children under the age of 16, for the first 90 days of employment, they don’t have to be paid minimum wage. You can pay them below $4 an hour across the country.

Mike Papantonio: Really?

Farron Cousins: Exactly.

Mike Papantonio: They’re gonna be injured anyway.

Farron Cousins: Exactly.

Mike Papantonio: You know, send a little, you know, send them back to Nicaragua.

Farron Cousins: So we’re talking about being able to bring in this cheap source of labor. Most of them probably will not make it 90 days.

Mike Papantonio: No.

Farron Cousins: So you pay them three, $4 an hour instead of $15 an hour. The corporation saves a bunch of money. The kids get hurt, they get shipped back overseas, or they get sent back to high school with one arm. And that’s what happens.

Mike Papantonio: You folks, you folks from Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Hampshire, this is what you’re doing. You are exploit, you are completely exploiting immigrants that are coming into this country. And at the same time, we’re singing, we are the world and like we really care. Like this is a humanitarian effort to bring in these kids. There’s nothing humanitarian about the way the US Chamber of Commerce sees this. All this is, this is cheap labor. They can take advantage of this as long as possible. We don’t even have to go overseas now for cheap labor because we’ve been able to bring, what, 3 million immigrants into this country. And so that’s the new cheap labor.

Farron Cousins: It is. And it’s getting younger and younger. And again, we don’t have to go to the Sipan sweatshops. We have the sweatshops here.

Mike Papantonio: We have ’em.

Farron Cousins: And we’re legalizing it. That’s the big problem.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: It’s not just, oh, we busted a meat packing plant, hiring 12 year olds. So instead of saying, okay, meat packing plant, you’re in trouble, we’re saying let’s change the law to where that’s no longer a problem.

Mike Papantonio: Iowa, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Minnesota, New Hampshire, buddy, if you don’t, if you live there and you don’t know this is going on, it is. Farron, thanks for joining me. Okay.

Farron Cousins: Thank you.

Mike Papantonio: That’s all for this week. But all of these segments are gonna be available this coming week right here on this channel. And you can follow us on Twitter @AmericasLawyer. I’m Mike Papantonio and this has been America’s Lawyer, where every week we tell you the stories that corporate media won’t tell you because their advertisers don’t let ’em tell those stories or their political connections are so strong that it doesn’t allow for them to tell the story. We’ll see you next time.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.