Trump Delivers Cursing Anti-Immigrant Rant During W.H. Event Honoring I.C.E. (VIDEO)


Although U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy platform has twisted and contorted during his rise to power, there are a few absolutes — including his endless suspicion of immigrants. He brought that suspicion up yet again while speaking Monday at an event honoring “heroes” of both Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).

He told a crowd assembled at the White House:

‘ICE’s Operation Matador recently led to the arrest of 325 members of MS-13, a vicious, violent, horrible gang — a horrible group of people. We’re throwing them the hell out of our country so fast your head would spin, but too many were allowed in.’

Watch below.

That — as could be said of so many other sets of remarks from the president — misrepresents the situation. MS-13, while a heinously violent gang that wreaks havoc for many families across the country, does not constitute an overwhelming border security threat. To employ the numbers — out of hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied minors who arrived at the United States’ southern border since 2012, only 56 have even been suspected of ties to the group, according to data from CBP, one of the very groups Trump was aiming to honor during his remarks on Monday.

In all, between 2012 and mid-June 2017, “unofficial” Border Patrol data records that some 4,939 undocumented border crossers have been suspected to be gang affiliated, and of those, 1,972 were believed to be affiliated with MS-13.

So, while the gang continues to grow in the United States through a variety of means, one of those means is not an overwhelming influx of undocumented individuals coming over the border. The gang does not represent as much of an issue with immigration as it represents other issues. Large portions of the organization — which at present maintains around 10,000 members — are recruited right in the United States. The total number of MS-13 members has not significantly changed for a decade.

The gang itself was founded right in the United States — in the Los Angeles area, to be precise, and eventually made its way down into Central America through the already existing population routes. Its tenuous association with immigrants to the United States has provided for its incorporation into Trump’s longstanding anti-immigration rhetoric.

He and his associates continue on with that rhetoric often.

White House Communications Adviser Mercedes Schlapp, for instance, pointed to a supposed prevalence of MS-13 members targeting Americans at large when faced with a tape of an undocumented child losing it after being separated from their family thanks to Trump “security” policies. (The gang represents a threat smaller than many others.)

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen alleged that MS-13 affiliated individuals are trying to make it into the U.S. via faking familial relationships while trying to defend that same family separation policy. However, less than 1 percent of the undocumented families taken into custody have been determined to have been fake.

Trump himself has in the past blamed “the weak illegal immigration policies of the Obama administration” for the gang’s prevalence in the United States.

That’s just not representative of the actual situation on the ground, though. Trump and his cronies keep pushing that narrative anyway, however.

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