‘Th­ese aren’t peo­ple. Th­ese are an­i­mals.’



Pri­vate is DeVos’ ONLY school choice

PRES­I­DENT TRUMP took a de­hu­man­iz­ing shot at un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants Wed­nes­day, dis­parag­ing them as “an­i­mals,” not “peo­ple.”

Trump’s harsh com­ment, which set off an avalanche of out­rage over so­cial me­dia, came in re­sponse to a lament from a Cal­i­for­nia sher­iff who said her state’s sanc­tu­ary laws pre­vent lo­cal po­lice from alert­ing fed­eral au­thor­i­ties about MS-13 gang mem­bers.

“We have peo­ple com­ing into the coun­try, or try­ing to come in,” Trump said. “You wouldn’t be­lieve how bad th­ese peo­ple are. Th­ese aren’t peo­ple. Th­ese are an­i­mals.”

While the re­mark fol­lowed Fresno County Sher­iff Mar­garet Sims’ state­ment about gang­bangers, Trump didn’t once ref­er­ence vi­o­lence or gang ac­tiv­ity in his re­sponse, in­stead cap­ping it off with a sweep­ing re­buke of U.S. im­mi­gra­tion laws.

“Be­cause of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we re­lease them, we get them again,” Trump said. “As I said be­fore, the dumb­est laws on im­mi­gra­tion in the world. So we’re go­ing to take care of it.”

Trump’s com­ments drew in­stant ire from im­mi­gra­tion ac­tivists, who stressed that his us­age of the slur ap­peared to ap­ply to un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants in gen­eral.

“This is sick,” Voto Latino, a Wash­ing­ton-based ad­vo­cacy group, tweeted. “Im­mi­grants are not an­i­mals. Im­mi­grants are hard­work­ing men and women who are seek­ing better fu­tures for their chil­dren away from vi­o­lence.”

Juan Es­calante, a Venezue­lan im­mi­grant and com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager at Amer­ica’s Voice, said his heart sank when he read a news story about Trump’s com­ment.

“When the Pres­i­dent says ‘an­i­mals’ like that, he is speak­ing of an en­tire cat­e­gory of peo­ple he con­sid­ers un­wor­thy of the Amer­i­can dream,” Es­calante, a ben­e­fi­ciary of the Obama-era De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals pro­gram, told the Daily News. “He con­tin­ues to un­der­mine Amer­i­can val­ues, and it’s shame­ful.”

Dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s round­table dis­cus­sion at the White House, Trump also urged the Jus­tice Depart­ment to in­ves­ti­gate Oak­land Mayor Libby Schaaf for ob­struc­tion of jus­tice over her re­cently warn­ing res­i­dents of an im­mi­nent Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment raid.

ICE has be­come sig­nif­i­cantly more ag­gres­sive since Trump took of­fice, with sky­rock­et­ing de­por­ta­tion rates of un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants with­out crim­i­nal records. Pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tions have mostly fo­cused on de­port­ing un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants with vi­o­lent records.

The Wed­nes­day sit­down comes as the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion con­tin­ues to ramp up its hawk­ish im­mi­gra­tion agenda.

At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions an­nounced last week that im­mi­gra­tion agents will start sep­a­rat­ing chil­dren from their un­doc­u­mented par­ents, and “if you don’t like that, then don’t smug­gle chil­dren.”

Ses­sions’ so-called “zero tol­er­ance” an­nounce­ment was fol­lowed by Trump be­rat­ing Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary Kirst­jen Nielsen dur­ing a cab­i­net meet­ing, blast­ing her for not do­ing enough to de­port un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants, ac­cord­ing to mul­ti­ple re­ports.

Nielsen re­port­edly con­sid­ered re­sign­ing over Trump’s blowup, but de­cided against it at the eleventh hour.

On Wed­nes­day, Trump com­mended Nielsen on do­ing a “good job.”

“It’s not an easy job,” Trump said. “I know what you’re go­ing through right now with fam­i­lies . . . . It’s a hor­ri­ble thing. We have to break up fam­i­lies.”

Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Betsy DeVos meets stu­dents at Yeshiva Darchei To­rah in Queens on Wed­nes­day dur­ing two-day city swing in which she vis­ited no pub­lic schools.

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