President Donald Trump called on the Department of Justice to prosecute a political opponent and called immigrants “animals” during a round-table with California leaders on Wednesday.
Trump’s remarks came during a May 16 immigration round-table discussion that touched on so-called sanctuary cities, MS-13 gang members, the federal “catch and release” practice, and policies in California related to the detention of immigrants. Participants included cabinet members, California sheriffs and other elected officials.
“We’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are,” he said. “These aren’t people. These are animals.”
Many were not happy about these comments.
“Immigrants are not ‘animals.’ The president’s statement was deeply offensive and racist. Immigrants are our family and friends, and they make significant contributions to our country,” tweeted Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California.
However, some say that Trump was not calling all immigrants “animals,” and rather made that comment in reference to MS-13 gang members, known for committing brutal crimes.
Trump did not specifically mention MS-13 in the same sentence, but his comment came after a California sheriff said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement cannot use her office’s databases “to find the bad guys” and that “there could be an MS-13 gang member” she knows about, but can’t tell the federal agency.
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