Trump says ‘animals’ remark refers to criminals, Mexico protests

WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump stated on Thursday he was referring to felony gangs when he known as some unlawful immigrants “animals,” a time period the Mexican authorities labeled as unacceptable and which drew rebukes on social media.

Trump made the remarks on Wednesday throughout a gathering with California municipal leaders who assist his objective of creating the U.S. border impervious to unlawful immigration.

“We’ve got folks coming into the nation, or attempting to come back in, and we’re stopping quite a lot of them, however we’re taking folks in another country. You wouldn’t imagine how dangerous these persons are. These aren’t folks. These are animals,” Trump stated.

Mexico’s authorities stated it could file a proper grievance with the U.S. State Division over the remarks.

“President Trump referred to some immigrants, maybe he had felony gangs in thoughts, I don’t know, as animals, not as individuals,” International Minister Luis Videgaray advised native TV station Televisa on Thursday. “Within the opinion of the Mexican authorities, that is completely unacceptable and we’re going to formally talk this to the U.S. State Division right this moment.”

Requested in regards to the remarks, Trump stated on Thursday they’d been taken out of context.

“I’m referring and you understand I’m referring to the MS-13 gangs which might be coming in. I used to be speaking in regards to the MS-13. And in the event you look just a little bit additional on within the tape, you’ll see that,” Trump advised reporters.

He additionally doubled down on his earlier feedback.

“MS-13 – these are animals. … We want robust immigration legal guidelines. … We’ve got legal guidelines which might be laughed at on immigration. So when the MS-13 is available in, when the opposite gang members come into our nation, I confer with them as animals and guess what, I all the time will,” Trump added.

Mexico’s International Ministry stated afterward Thursday that Videgaray’s feedback nonetheless stood.


MS-13, which began in Los Angeles within the 1980s, has grown right into a cross-border felony group with management in El Salvador that has 30,000 members worldwide and 10,000 in the USA, the U.S. Justice Division says.

On the assembly on Wednesday, Trump additionally voiced hostility for Mexico, which will likely be partnering with the USA and Canada in an unprecedented bid to host the soccer World Cup in all three nations in 2026. It is usually a part of the North American Free Commerce Settlement that Trump has threatened to scuttle if it isn’t improved to his liking.

“Mexico does nothing for us,” Trump stated on the assembly. “Mexico talks however they do nothing for us, particularly on the border. They definitely don’t assist us a lot on commerce.”

Regardless of Trump’s feedback, Mexico has been working exhausting to win favor with the Trump administration in areas like diplomacy and migration, within the hopes of garnering a helpful renegotiated NAFTA deal.

Since 2014, when Democratic President Barack Obama was within the White Home, Mexico has extra aggressively enforced its personal southern border, detaining and deporting tens of 1000’s of immigrants, a lot of whom hail from the poor, violent Central American nations of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

FILE PHOTO: Mexico’s International Minister Luis Videgaray delivers a joint message with U.S. Homeland Safety Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in Mexico Metropolis, Mexico March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Romero

Reporting by James Oliphant and Anthony Esposito; Further reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez in Mexico Metropolis; Enhancing by Peter Cooney

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