Mexico’s foreign minister has a sharp response for President Trump’s recent remarks calling undocumented immigrants ‘animals.’
In a recent interview with Mexican news outlet Televisa, Luis Videgaray said Trump’s “animals” comment required a prompt response from Mexico, who will file a complaint with the State Department on Thursday.
“President Trump referred to some immigrants, perhaps he had criminal gangs in mind, I don’t know, as animals, not as persons,” Videgaray said. “In the opinion of the Mexican government this is absolutely unacceptable and we are going to formally communicate this to the U.S. State Department today.”
Trump made the “animals” remark during a roundtable meeting with cabinet officials and members of law enforcement agencies regarding sanctuary cities, which provide refuge to undocumented immigrants by not prosecuting or reporting them to federal immigration officials.
““We have people coming into the country, trying to come in, we’re stopping a lot of ’em. But we’re taking people out of the country — you wouldn’t believe how bad these people are,” Trump said. “These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and a rate that’s never happened before.”
President Trump during California #SanctuaryCities Roundtable: "These aren't people. These are animals."
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 16, 2018
While some have argued that Trump was only referring to members of the El Salvadoran MS-13 gang as “animals,” a transcript of the comment shows that Trump didn’t mention the gang by name, and seemed to be referring to undocumented immigrants who had been deported from the United States under his administration.
I’m going to try to summon the patience that wasn’t in me last night on the off chance there’s someone out there who sincerely imagines the context here to be exculpatory. pic.twitter.com/vdcuaBP1RU
— Julian Sanchez (@normative) May 17, 2018
As Reuters reported, Trump also made derogatory remarks about Mexico, claiming the United States’ Southern neighbor wasn’t doing enough to stop the flow of immigrants across the U.S. border, and was harming the U.S. economy with its trade policies.
“Mexico does nothing for us,” Trump said. “Mexico talks but they do nothing for us, especially at the border. They certainly don’t help us much on trade.”
It’s not immediately clear what the text of the complaint will be, or what action, if any, will be taken by the U.S. State Department to address the complaint. Grit Post’s request to the State Department for comment has not been returned as of this writing.
Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.