During a celebration of ICE and Custom Border Patrol, President Trump, appeasing his base, highlighted the fact that a Latino patrol officer, Adrian Anzaldua, speaks English.
Trump invited Anzaldua on stage with him.
“The border patrol agent who caught the accused, and likely really saved many lives, he’s here with usThank you, Adrian. Great job. Thank you. It’s a lot of lives,” said Trump.
Then he said to Anzaldua, “Come here, you’re not nervous, right Speaks perfect English.”
CBP agents are required to speak English, yet Trump couldn’t help himself in pointing out Anzaldua was not like those “other” Latinos who didn’t speak the language.
Perry Bacon, a CNN commentator, said that Trump unnecessarily pointing that out is not like his banter against Maxine Waters. “He’s trying to insult her,” Bacon said.
“He’s actually trying to praise [Anzaldua], but he can’t figure out a way to not to say something that’s vaguely racist.”
Trump continued to praise ICE and border patrol and then went on to purport the non-existent wall against Mexican immigrants, supporting the agencies who separated families under his order and still hasn’t reunified them all, and paint those who oppose his racist policies as wanting crime in the country.
“The wall is getting longer and taller and stronger each and every day,” and of his opposition, Trump said:
“They have no courage; they have no guts. They just have big, loud mouths, and we don’t want to put up with that.”
To ICE and the CBP: “I just want to know you are loved, you are loved and respected as much as anybody in this country.”
“It is purely politics and theater,” said Representative Adriano Espaillat, a New York Democrat, who has been a sponsor of legislation to disband ICE and replace it. “He is trying to paint people who want a fair and practical immigration agency as the bad guys.”
Trump’s administration has pushed for English-speaking applicants at the borders, and a CBS News poll found 6 in 10 Republicans supported mandating that every new immigrant speak English.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump criticized former Florida governor Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish on the campaign trailsaying English was central to American identity.