President Trump tore into MS-13 on Thursday, describing the street gang as “animals” when media asked him to clarify his previous statement.
Responding to fake news reports that he was referring to all illegal aliens as “animals,” the president pointed out that the comment he made on Wednesday referred only to the violent MS-13 gang whose members are mostly illegals.
“I am referring to the MS-13 gangs that are coming in,” he told the press. “I was talking about the MS-13 and if you look further under the tape you will see that.”
“…I refer to them as animals, and guess what? I always will.”
"I am referring to the MS-13 gangs that are coming in. I was talking about the MS-13 and if you look further under the tape you will see that." President Trump clarifies "These aren't people, these are animals" comment. https://t.co/souzfNvTGc pic.twitter.com/DwupoA1YmM
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 17, 2018
The fake “controversy” erupted from a California Sanctuary State Roundtable on Wednesday when Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims pointed out that because of California state law, her department is now limited to the assistance they can provide to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In particular, ICE cannot interview inmates unless they reach a certain threshold, meaning that Sheriff Mims cannot even inform federal agents if she is holding a suspected MS-13 gang member.
In response, President Trump referred to MS-13 as animals, which the media took out of context by claiming he meant all illegal aliens are animals.
In the interest of full public disclosure, which is what the mainstream media failed to do, here’s Sheriff Mims’ full comment and the president’s response, with emphasis added:
THE PRESIDENT: Okay, Margaret?
SHERIFF MIMS: Thank you, Mr. President. You know, sheriffs in California are now in an untenable position when it comes to trying to figure out — now, we have state law, we have federal laws, and here we are stuck in the middle. Sheriffs, especially, because most of us run our county jails.
When there became a legal challenge to the 48-hour holds for ICE, it was very frustrating for us. So what I did is I invited ICE to put their officers in my jails so they’re able to do their work. We didn’t have the staffing to be able to help figure out who they wanted to talk to or didn’t. I said, come on in, work with our people to keep our community safe. Two weeks later, Mr. President, Kate Steinle was murdered.
Now, I wasn’t the only sheriff to do that. Sheriff Youngblood did, Sheriff Christianson. And it was perfect — because we didn’t have to take our time, with our staff, to do anything. ICE was in there doing their work in a safe, controlled, environment. And then, the initiatives started happening — the TRUST Act, the TRUTH Act, and finally, SB 54, the Values Act. And that is causing us all kinds of turmoil.
So here we are, stuck in the middle, trying to decide. We have federal law, we have state law. And that’s why I welcomed Attorney General Sessions’s lawsuit, because that will provide us the clarity that we need and direction that we need. What do we do? Because here we are.
And I appreciated Mr. Homan and ICE. We had a great relationship; we still do. But now ICE is the only law enforcement agency that cannot use our databases to find the bad guys. They cannot come in and talk to people in our jail, unless they reach a certain threshold. They can’t do all kinds of things that other law enforcement agencies can do. And it’s really put us in a very bad position.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s a disgrace. Okay? It’s a disgrace.
SHERIFF MIMS: It’s a disgrace.
THE PRESIDENT: And we’re suing on that, and we’re working hard, and I think it will all come together, because people want it to come together. It’s so ridiculous. The concept that we’re even talking about is ridiculous. We’ll take care of it, Margaret. We’ll win.
SHERIFF MIMS: Thank you. There could be an MS-13 member I know about — if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it.
THE PRESIDENT: We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and 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 them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It’s crazy.
The dumbest laws — as I said before, the dumbest laws on immigration in the world. So we’re going to take care of it, Margaret. We’ll get it done.