In a Youngstown, Ohio, campaign “speech” covered in the white nationalist fingerprints of the ghoulish, Latino-hating adviser Stephen Miller, Donald Trump praised the merciless efforts of his deportation force for rounding up undocumented immigrants, calling the families he’s tearing apart “animals” who “poison” neighborhoods “with drugs and prey on innocent young people.” This racist, trademark rant was vile and chock-full of lies—but that’s exactly who and what he is:
“One by one, we are finding the illegal gang members, drug dealers, thieves, robbers, criminals, and killers. And we are sending them the hell back home where they came from. And once they are gone, we will never let them back in, believe me.
The predators and criminal aliens who poison our communities with drugs and prey on innocent young people — these beautiful, beautiful, innocent young people — will find no safe haven anywhere in our country. And you’ve seen the stories about some of these animals. They don’t want to use guns, because it’s too fast and it’s not painful enough. So they’ll take a young, beautiful girl, 16, 15, and others, and they slice them and dice them with a knife, because they want them to go through excruciating pain before they die. And these are the animals that we’ve been protecting for so long. Well, they’re not being protected any longer, folks.”
First of all, the “bad hombres” the popular vote loser has supposedly been arresting have actually been law-abiding immigrant parents of U.S. citizen children with years of paying taxes under their belts. Just last week, Trump deported Jesus Lara, a Pepperidge Farms worker and dad of four American citizens, to Mexico. Despite having no criminal record, Lara was swept up by the deportation force and torn from his home of nearly 20 years. There’s the “animal” and “killer” Donald Trump wants you to be afraid of.
Second of all, research stretching back two decades indicates “that immigrants commit far less and are far less likely to commit crime than native born Americans … an older report by a federally-funded criminal justice agency also found no link between immigration and crime.” In fact, “new findings suggest that immigrants may actually cause crime to decline in the areas where they live.” Put that in your anti-sanctuary cities pipe and smoke it, Donald.
What is clear here is Trump’s effort to dehumanize an entire population as “animals.” When you call them animals, it makes it easier to not think of them as living, breathing, feeling, and thinking human beings while you are tearing them from their homes and families and rounding them up like cattle in order to deport them to possible death and excruciating poverty in other countries. As journalist Maria Hinojosa said in a lecture condemning the use of the pejorative “illegals” term:
“[Holocaust survivor Elie] Wiesel are said there's no such thing as an illegal human being, and it's a dangerous term to use. Why, I asked? He said, the Nazis declared the Jews to be an illegal people. That was the beginning of the Holocaust.”
As America’s Voice executive director Frank Sharry said, elected Republican leaders who fail to condemn this hate own it just as much as Donald Trump. “This is not normal. In fact, it is way beyond not normal … It is especially troubling that Trump’s fellow Republicans no longer speak up. Their silence equals complicity … We cannot let ourselves be desensitized to what we are witnessing, and what it means for the country, values, and communities we hold dear. Millions of people, and a defining feature of who we are, are at risk.”