Fake News Media had me calling Immigrants, or Illegal Immigrants, “Animals.” Wrong! They were begrudgingly forced to withdraw their stories. I referred to MS 13 Gang Members as “Animals,” a big difference - and so true. Fake News got it purposely wrong, as usual!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2018
In January, the Los Angeles Police Department arrested an illegal immigrant from Mexico for drug possession. Instead of honoring the ICE detainer, they set him free. Just a few weeks later, he was arrested again, this time for murder. So they arrested him, they had him, they let him go. Tom, you’ve seen this. They let him go, and he killed somebody. And it’s happening more and more. And we get them out as fast as we can. We have the worst laws anywhere in the world for illegal immigration. There’s no place in the world that has laws like we do.
Catch and release — think of it. We catch somebody, we find out they’re criminals. We end up having to release them, and they go into our society. Now, we do the best we can, I’ll tell you. We do better than anybody. And our numbers are much better than in the past, but they’re not nearly acceptable and not nearly as good as what we could have. We’re down 40 percent from those other standards, so that’s really good — meaning 40 percent crossings. So that’s good. But we can do — we can do much better.
Part of the problem that we have is our economy is so strong that people are pouring up to get into our economy. They want a piece of our economy. And that makes the job even tougher. But we want to keep — we want people based on merit. We want people to come into our country based on merit. We’re not looking to keep them out. We’re looking to bring them in. We need them. We have companies moving back into the United States like never before. Chrysler is opening up now in Michigan. We have so many companies actually coming from Mexico, even, and coming back in. So we want people coming in based on merit.
We all remember the tragic case of Marilyn Farris who was murdered by an illegal immigrant who had been arrested six times prior to breaking into Marilyn’s home, raping her and savagely beating her to death with a hammer.
And this is one example, but there are many examples. I’ve been saying it for a long time. We cannot let this butchery happen in America.
His controversial (today) comments came in response to Sheriff Mims:
SHERIFF MIMS: Thank you, Mr. President. You know, sheriffs in California are now in an untenable position when it comes to trying to figure out — now, we have state law, we have federal laws, and here we are stuck in the middle. Sheriffs, especially, because most of us run our county jails.
When there became a legal challenge to the 48-hour holds for ICE, it was very frustrating for us. So what I did is I invited ICE to put their officers in my jails so they’re able to do their work. We didn’t have the staffing to be able to help figure out who they wanted to talk to or didn’t. I said, come on in, work with our people to keep our community safe. Two weeks later, Mr. President, Kate Steinle was murdered.
Now, I wasn’t the only sheriff to do that. Sheriff Youngblood did, Sheriff Christianson. And it was perfect — because we didn’t have to take our time, with our staff, to do anything. ICE was in there doing their work in a safe, controlled, environment. And then, the initiatives started happening — the TRUST Act, the TRUTH Act, and finally, SB 54, the Values Act. And that is causing us all kinds of turmoil.
So here we are, stuck in the middle, trying to decide. We have federal law, we have state law. And that’s why I welcomed Attorney General Sessions’s lawsuit, because that will provide us the clarity that we need and direction that we need. What do we do? Because here we are.
And I appreciated Mr. Homan and ICE. We had a great relationship; we still do. But now ICE is the only law enforcement agency that cannot use our databases to find the bad guys. They cannot come in and talk to people in our jail, unless they reach a certain threshold. They can’t do all kinds of things that other law enforcement agencies can do. And it’s really put us in a very bad position.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s a disgrace. Okay? It’s a disgrace.
SHERIFF MIMS: It’s a disgrace.
THE PRESIDENT: And we’re suing on that, and we’re working hard, and I think it will all come together, because people want it to come together. It’s so ridiculous. The concept that we’re even talking about is ridiculous. We’ll take care of it, Margaret. We’ll win.
SHERIFF MIMS: Thank you. There could be an MS-13 member I know about — if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it.
THE PRESIDENT: 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. 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.
The dumbest laws — as I said before, the dumbest laws on immigration in the world. So we’re going to take care of it, Margaret. We’ll get it done.
There is some consideration for Trump's comment, some argument that it is unclear what he meant, or that in context of his other statements since announcing his candidacy we can see a clear pattern. But honestly, the transcript speaks for itself. Trump wasn't restricting his comments to MS-13 gang members; he was speaking of immigrants. He truly thinks they are "animals" who deserve nothing more than to be rounded up in this country, and prevented in every way possible from ever entering this country at all.
His xenophobia couldn't be plainer.