“We’re taking people out of the country—you wouldn’t believe how bad these people are,” the president of the United States said. “These aren’t people. These are animals.” The occasion for Trump’s latest rant came as he met with anti-immigrant political leaders from California at the White House on Wednesday. California Governor Jerry Brown promptly responded::
“Trump is lying on immigration, lying about crime and lying about the laws of California. Flying in a dozen Republican politicians to flatter him and praise his reckless policies changes nothing. We, the citizens of the fifth-largest economy in the world, are not impressed.”
Other Trump comments during the meeting:
On the wall: “We have started the wall … We’re getting it up … We made a lot of progress on it.”
On U.S. immigration laws: “We have the worst laws anywhere in the world for illegal immigration” and “the dumbest laws on immigration in the world.”
On statistics: “We’re down 40% from those other standards.”
On his administration’s policy of separating migrant parents and children: ““We have to break up families. The Democrats gave us that law.”
On Mexico: “Mexico does nothing for us. Mexico talks, but they do nothing for us, especially at the border.”
Trump also said the Justice Department should investigate Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. He’s been denouncing Schaaf ever since she warned her city in advance of an immigration raid back in February. According to Trump, that allowed many targeted immigrants to escape. At the time, Attorney General Jeff Sessions put the number at 800. That led to the resignation of San Francisco ICE spokesperson James Schwab because he was told to repeat the lie. Schwab said:
“I quit because I didn’t want to perpetuate misleading facts,” said Schwab, 38, who was hired in 2015 and resigned last week. “I asked them to change the information. I told them that the information was wrong, they asked me to deflect, and I didn’t agree with that. Then I took some time and I quit.”
In actual news about immigration:
- Two more House Republicans sign on to demand for a vote on immigration bills;
- Second article in CNN’s two-part series on deaths on the border;
- Cato Institute says John Kelly is wrong about Central American immigrants and that they really assimilate quite well.
For more about Trump’s rant, see:
- Video of his comments
- Trump calls unauthorized immigrants ‘animals’ in rant (New York Times, 5/16/18)
- Trump suggests Justice Department investigate Oakland’s mayor for tipping off immigrants (Washington Post, 5/16/18)
- Trump on deported immigrants: ‘They’re not people. They’re animals’ (Vox, 5/16/18)
- California governor slams Trump for ‘lying’ about immigration at ‘sanctuary city’ roundtable (The Hill, 5/16/18)
In actual news about immigration:
GOP renegades inch closer to forcing immigration votes as leaders scramble for Plan B (Denver Post, 5/16/18) Inch by painful inch, House Republicans move toward voting on immigration bills. Two more Republicans signed on to the discharge petition. If five more step up, and if every single Democrat in the House joins them, that will force a vote, possibly in June. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Republican leadership continue to oppose the discharge petition and vote.
For families of vanished migrants, unidentified remains mean answers never come (CNN, 5/15/18) Second article in two-part series. First article: Border Patrol has failed to count hundreds of migrant deaths on US soil. CNN found hundreds of deaths that the U.S. government failed to count, and also found that even when the Border Patrol reports a migrant death, it often fails to identify the person or inform their family. Private organizations now try to help families find answers.
“Ely Ortiz and the members of his rescue crew, Aguilas del Desierto, or Desert Eagles, spread out across the flat, sere desert. They found a pair of New Balance running shoes, a section of spine, a blue polo shirt, a pair of black trousers. In the pockets, Ortiz found a well-creased birthday card and a black wallet with a Honduran ID card for Dennis Martinez Nuñez. Despite the serious expression in his photo, the clean-shaven Martinez looked younger than his age of 30.
“Through Facebook, the Desert Eagles reached his family that night. Martinez had set out four months earlier from the gang-ridden Colonia Villa Franca neighborhood of the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa. A Honduran Air Force veteran, he hoped to find work in the United States so he could send money back to his pregnant wife….
“The Colibri Center has more than 2,400 open missing persons reports on vanished border crossers. Other humanitarian groups have about 1,200 more open cases, though Reineke said that confidentiality agreements with the families make it hard to be sure there’s no overlap.”
Central Americans assimilate very well (Cato Institute, 5/14/18) Contrary to John Kelly’s assertions, immigrants who enter with low education and English skills do find a place in U.S. society: they find jobs and work at a higher rate than U.S. citizens, they learn English, and they assimilate well.
“We made it this far. We will be doctors.” (Loyola University of Chicago) Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine celebrates the graduation of six DACA students.
“They were born in Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Pakistan. They grew up in Memphis, Los Angeles, Orange County, Houston, Boulder, and Chicago. They learned English, excelled in classes, volunteered in their communities. Many had no idea they were undocumented until they tried to get a driver’s license or apply to college….
“They were the first undocumented students to openly attend the first medical school in the country to accept applicants with DACA status. And now they are one step closer to achieving their dreams.” https://luc.edu/stritchdaca/
Apartments are stocked. Toys are donated. Only the refugees are missing. (New York Times, 5/16/18)
“The flow of refugees to the United States has slowed nearly to a halt, demonstrating that what President Trump’s administration could not achieve by executive order, it is accomplishing by bureaucracy.
“The administration has cut the staff that conducts clearance interviews overseas, intensified the screening process for refugees, and for those people it characterizes as high-risk, doubled the number who need to be screened. As a result, if the trickle of refugees admitted continues at its current pace, just 20,000 are projected to enter the United States by the end of this year, the lowest figure since the resettlement program was created with passage of the Refugee Act in 1980….
“The refugee program reflects the priorities of every administration,” said Melanie Nezer, senior vice president at HIAS. But what’s happening is unlike anything she has seen before, she said. “We’ve had extreme vetting for years, but refugees have cleared the process. Now they don’t. It’s not extreme vetting any more, it’s a closed door.”