A conservative radio talk show host in Iowa wants to turn undocumented immigrants into "property of the state" and forced into labor.
"Put up a sign that says at the end of 60 days, if you are not here with our permission, can't prove your legal status, you become property of the state," Jan Mickelson said during his show on Monday. "And then we start to extort or exploit or indenture your labor."
Audio of Mickelson's segment was posted online by Media Matters.
When a caller said "it sounds an awful lot like slavery," Mickelson asked: "Well, what's wrong with slavery?"
He also claimed that Americans are "indentured" to undocumented immigrants by supposedly being forced to pay their expenses.
Mickelson said the undocumented immigrants could be housed in tents, similar to the "Tent City Jail" set up by Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
"Put up a tent village, we feed and water these new assets, we give them minimal shelter, minimal nutrition, and offer them the opportunity to work for the benefit of the taxpayers of the state of Iowa," Mickelson said. "All they have to do to avoid servitude is to leave."
In another excerpt posted by Media Matters, he also suggested that the "slaves" could be forced to build a wall across the Mexican border:
"We say, 'Hey, we're not going to make Mexico pay for the wall, we're going to invite the illegal Mexicans and illegal aliens to build it. If you have come across the border illegally, again give them another 60-day guideline, you need to go home and leave this jurisdiction, and if you don't you become property of the United States, and guess what? You will be building a wall. We will compel your labor. You would belong to these United States. You show up without an invitation, you get to be an asset. You get to be a construction worker. Cool!'"
Mickelson also insisted his proposal was serious.
"You think I'm just pulling your leg," he told the caller. "I am not."
Listen to his comments in the clip above, or read more of the transcript at Media Matters.
Mickelson has a history of both xenophobic and homophobic comments. Earlier this year, he said undocumented children should be banned from public schools. And in 2012, he said gays "are likely to shorten their lives in this world and impair their destinies in the next."
However, his talk show is influential among conservatives in the state and Republican presidential hopefuls routinely appear on the broadcast.
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