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Trump draws rebuke for 'animal' remark at immigration talk
18 May 2018, 02:51 | Floyd Cook
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White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway slammed those critical of President Trump's use of the term "animals" to describe MS-13 gang members Thursday, saying politicians who "rushed to judgment" owe Trump and gang violence victims "an apology".
"We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in and we're stopping a lot of them", Trump said after Fresno County sheriff Margaret Mims complained about state restrictions that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities. "You wouldn't believe how bad these people are".
Answering a reporter's question during a meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg, Trump said his comment a day earlier had clearly been directed at members of the MS-13 gang.
Last month Pena Nieto also ordered a sweeping review of Mexico's cooperation with the U.S., including in the vital areas of security and trade, after Trump ordered thousands of National Guard troops to the border following media reports on a caravan of Central American migrants crossing Mexico toward the United States. Frankly, I don't think the term that the president used was strong enough.
This isn't to say Trump is a saint, or that he hasn't made inappropriate (to say the least) comments in the past.
Mr. Trump made the remarks on Wednesday during a meeting with California municipal leaders, who support his goal of making the US border impervious to illegal immigration.
"I'm referring to the MS-13 gangs that are coming in".
In response to one user who joked, "Hey Johnny, MS-13 are some fine people, right?" A WLJA report from February of this year described an MS-13 leader who pimped out a number of underage girls from different states.
"President Trump referred to some immigrants, perhaps he had criminal gangs in mind, I don't know, as animals, not as persons", Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray told local TV station Televisa on Thursday.
These comments were in response to the discussion about MS-13 gang members trying to enter the US illegally.
A directive from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released in January allows immigration agents to enter courthouses to "discreetly" arrest targeted convicted criminals but bars them from detaining anyone else who may be undocumented. "What did the president mean when he said some immigrants aren't people, they're animals", Mr. Portnoy asked.
"It reminds me that and I was talking about the religious groups and how they're concerned about feeding the hungry and the Gospel of Matthew and the rest", she told the media at a briefing Thursday, "41 million people in our country are food insecure".
Sanders responded that "the president should continue to use his platform and everything he can do under the law to stop these types of horrible, horrible, disgusting people".
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