For nearly one hour, President Trump listened to California politicians talk about the negative impact of the state’s sanctuary city policies, including how they complicate prosecutions of notoriously brutal MS-13 members. The media may have been listening, but their gross misrepresentation of comments exposes a tone deafness to the brutal nature of the gang.
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims talked in detail to the president about her experience with sanctuary laws and how she is being prevented from telling Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about MS-13 gang members in her custody.
In response, the president responded, “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.”
The reaction to the president describing murderers and rapists as “animals” was lacking in accuracy and context.
The New York Times headline declared, “Trump calls some unauthorized immigrants ‘Animals’ in rant.”
Then the reporter said Trump had “lashed out at undocumented immigrants during a White House meeting on Wednesday, warning in front of news cameras that dangerous people were clamoring to breach the country’s borders and branding such people “animals.’”
USA Today asserted, “Trump ramps up rhetoric on undocumented immigrants: ‘These aren’t people. These are animals.’”
A news analysis in The Washington Post argued Trump was “evoking an ugly history of dehumanization.”
One of the few media figures to correctly report the president’s remarks was CNN’s Jake Tapper, who tweeted:
“Here is the full context of President Trump’s ‘animals’ comment during the immigration/sanctuary city roundtable, which came as a Sheriff was complaining about restrictions placed on ICE databases, and MS-13 gang members.”
The media’s response showcases a bias against the president’s immigration agenda that prevents them from recognizing some MS-13 members are worse than animals.
First, consider the gang’s motto is “Kill. Rape. Control.”
Second, a recent web report by Boston’s WBUR about the largest criminal case against MS-13 required an editor’s note warning readers that they “may find the language or situations described below upsetting.”
The cases involved an El Salvadoran defendant who had hit his victim in the head with a machete and a Honduran who missed his target and ended up killing a mother standing outside a domestic abuse center with her children.
Reporters should speak with the family of 25-year-old Santos Arquimidis Sorto Amay, who was shot multiple times by MS-13 gang members, placed in the trunk of his car and driven to a park where the vehicle was set on fire.
Or better yet, with 22-year-old Edwin Chicas, whose gang name is “Animal.”