At a meeting with California officials, President Donald Trump called some undocumented immigrants “animals.” His latest hate speech is yet another example of unfounded rhetoric against immigrants — unproven information that his supporters, who are largely white and uneducated, continue to believe.
“It’s so ridiculous, the concept that we’re even talking about. It is so ridiculous,” he said.
“We have people coming into the country — or trying to come in, 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 ’em, we release them, we get ’em again, we bring ’em out — it’s crazy. The dumbest laws on immigration in the world.”
The data to support Trump’s desire to paint undocumented immigrants as being dangerous or more likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans does not exist.
A 2015 study by the American Immigration Council found that not only are immigrants less likely to commit serious crimes or be incarcerated than native-born residents, but high rates of immigration correlate with even lower rates of violent and property crimes.
According to the report, “roughly 1.6 percent of immigrant males age 18-39 are incarcerated, compared to 3.3 percent of the native-born.
“This disparity in incarceration rates has existed for decades, as evidenced by data from the 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial censuses,” the authors note. “In each of those years, the incarceration rates of the native-born were anywhere from two to five times higher than that of immigrants.”
According to election exit polls and Pew research, Trump’s voters were largely white people and people without a college education. Fifty-one percent of voters with a high school degree or less, as well as 51 percent of voters who only completed some college, supported Trump. All voters with a higher education level voted for his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. (Notably, he is losing support across many voting blocs — including those with and without a college degree.)
The discussion arose during a roundtable discussion with local and state leaders who are opposed to the state’s status as a sanctuary one. Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims shared her feelings of anger that she cannot tell Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents if she believes a detainee is part of a gang, due to sanctuary laws.
“California’s law provides safe harbor to some of the most vicious and violent offenders on Earth, like MS-13 gang members putting innocent men, women, and children at the mercy of these sadistic criminals,” the president said during the meeting.
Trump also used the time to attack California leaders trying to protect immigrants from the president’s hate.
“You talk about obstruction of justice, I would recommend that you look at obstruction of justice for the mayor [of Oakland], Jeff,” he said, speaking to Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.
In February, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D) warned her residents of a massive upcoming ICE raid. Trump and Sessions both lambasted her for publicizing the information. According to the Trump administration, Schaaf allowed 800 undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation.
A spokesperson for ICE resigned in March because of the Trump administration’s repeated lies.
“I quit because I didn’t want to perpetuate misleading facts,” James Schwab told the San Francisco Chronicle at the time. “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.”