Donald Trump has called undocumented immigrants "criminals," "rapists," and "bad hombres." Now, the president has added a new derogatory term to his anti-immigrant rhetoric: "animals."
He dehumanized immigrants as part of his campaign-style speech at his Youngstown, Ohio rally on Tuesday, July 25.
He said, "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."
Yes, he said that.
His calculated, descriptive language continues to embolden hatred for immigrants — both documented and undocumented — by painting them as ravenous villains.
But the truth is, immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than US-born people. Various studies have proven that Trump has created a falsified narrative of immigrants to fit his agenda; these findings are not #alternativefacts. "There’s no way I can mess with the numbers to get a different conclusion,” immigration policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, Alex Nowrasteh, told The New York Times.
Of course, he accomplished what he intended to do: He got a rise out of his loyal supporters.
Time will only tell how he chooses to portray immigrants next.