Danny Trejo spoke out in favor of felons' voting rights Friday but denounced President Donald Trump for taking too much credit on the issue. Trejo — who spent time in prisons himself — told TMZ that he believes more states should restore voting rights to felons after they serve their time, as Florida has recently done. He also said that Kim Kardashian had done more for prison reform than the president had.
"I think anybody out of prison should be able to vote, whether on parole or probation," Trejo said. "And I honestly believe, right now that if you're in the county jail — that's before you've gone to prison, you're in the county jail — you should be able to vote! Because you haven't been convicted, you know? Prison is a different story; in prison, you're already sentenced."
Trejo said he firmly believes that anyone who has completed their prison term should have their right to vote reinstated, even if they have been convicted of a felony. According to TMZ, there are 11 states where felons lose their voting rights for life, even if they pass through the system legitimately. To Trejo, this is simply wrong.
"Of course, it's one of our rights, constitutional rights, the right to vote, and you've paid your debt," he said.
Asked about "the work Trump has done" for the prison reform movement, Trejo was almost at a loss for words. He said: "The work Trump has done? I honestly believe that, uh, Kim Kardashian has done more than Trump."
"I don't know of the work that he's done, because to me prison reform means that... You have to understand, probably 10 percent of the people that are in prison belong in prison, OK?" Trejo went on. "Ten percent. Now, that means there's 90 percent of people that shouldn't even be in prison. Do you understand? It's like, they should have been — drug addicts. There's no way a drug addict is supposed to go to prison. It's a disease."
Trejo's interviewer pointed out that Trump did sign the First Step Act into law, so he has done that much, at least for prison reform. Republican Rep. Doug Collins introduced the law, which is meant to reduce recidivism rates in U.S. prisons and decrease the inmate population. According to a report by The New York Times, Trump was skeptical of the bill at first but was persuaded to sign it by his son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, whose father served time in prison.
As for Kardashian, she has become a high-profile champion of prison reform, notably traveling to the White House to discuss the issue with Trump himself. Kardashian is still in law school intending to pursue prison reform as a professional in the years to come.