Trump strikes a Hitlerian note about immigrants: "You wouldn't believe how bad these people are. These aren't people. These are animals." pic.twitter.com/LpmgDMZ9RV— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 16, 2018
After referring to them as “snakes,” “rapists” and “bad hombres” (to name a few), President Donald Trump once again demonstrated his deep-rooted and hatred for undocumented immigrants by calling them “animals” during a White House meeting on sanctuary cities.
The commander-in-chief, who has never really shied away from insulting immigrants, was having a roundtable discussion with a group of California sheriffs when he made the deeply disturbing remarks conflating immigration with delinquency – because according to the current administration, everyone who entered the U.S. illegally is criminal, regardless of the large possibility they could have done it to flee violence and war in their home countries.
“We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in – and we’re stopping a lot of them – but we’re taking people out of the country,” Trump said. “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It’s crazy.”
Although his disturbing comments came after a sheriff briefly mentioned an MS-13 gang member, Trump didn’t clarify if he was explicitly talking about them. In fact, he seemed to tarring all immigrants with the same brush, which is not unusual for him or his cronies.
Besides, it isn’t as if the Trump administration is solely fixated on deported immigrants with criminal history or those accused of particularly atrocious offenses. If anything, ICE arrests of people with no criminal records have more than doubled since the former reality TV star with no political or military experience whatsoever took office.
As the Vox pointed out, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested nearly 45,500 non-criminal immigrants in 2017 alone.
Unsurprisingly, social media users didn’t hold back from slamming Trump for dehumanizing immigrants, many of whom risk their lives in search of a safe haven for their families.
TRUMP (today): "We're taking people out of the country. These aren't people. These are animals."— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) May 16, 2018
Dehumanization is a step in every genocide in history. pic.twitter.com/qem5MzTmZZ
Never, ever forget this fact: Donald Trump reserves the word "animals" only for brown people. https://t.co/vXJRZyDUn0— ????. (@cristianafarias) May 16, 2018
One of Trump's most consistent rhetorical moves is comparing large classes of human beings to animals -- a political tactic with a long and deadly history https://t.co/LB7SANCrB1— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) May 16, 2018
"These aren't people. They're animals."— Scott Huffman (@ElectScottNC08) May 17, 2018
Who said it?
A. Slave owners
C. Donald Trump
D. All of the above.
IF you are a decent person and were in a meeting where @realDonaldTrump called immigrants “animals,” you will denounce him NOW. Otherwise, what makes you any different?— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) May 17, 2018
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Kevin Lamarque