Many operating in the Republican Party are trying to lower restrictions on labor laws. These kinds of actions have been taking place in Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio.
In Wisconsin, lawmakers are trying to pass a new bill to allow fourteen-year-olds to serve alcohol at restaurants.
This trend has arisen amidst new reporting from the New York Times and Washington Post that found exploited migrant children to be working in the U.S. illegally. These reports found that children were working in punishing jobs that involved overnight labor, operating heavy machinery and working in slaughterhouses.
Vox reporter Rachel Cohen and Republican political consultant Dennis Darnoi joined Detroit Today to discuss the current situation with child labor laws in the U.S.
Listen: How child labor laws and regulations are changing in the U.S.
Rachel Cohen is a senior policy reporter for Vox. She has been writing about the Republican push to weaken child labor laws. She says there is a lot that Americans do not know about the state of child labor in the country.
“We do not actually have a great picture of the state of child labor in the U.S. — which is a huge problem,” says Cohen.
Dennis Darnoi is a Republican political consultant who tracks voter data. He says many Americans are reevaluating what should be decided by families and what should be determined by people who work in government.
“There is a very, very strong divide right now within the country in terms of what are the roles of public institutions in the lives of individuals, and especially right now in the lives of individual children,” he says.