Trump explains his 'animals' comment - and doesn't back down to the outrage

"Each of you has bravely resisted California's deadly and unconstitutional sanctuary state law" Trump told those attending the meeting

18 May, 2018

City and county officials from across the state who oppose California's sanctuary-state law sat down with President Donald Trump on May 16 to voice their objections to the law, and they got a pep talk from the president who slammed the state for failing to crack down on illegal immigration.

While discussing possible actions on illegal immigration with a roundtable of California mayors and law enforcement officers on Wednesday, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims told the president of the current situation: "There could be an MS-13 gang member I know about [but] if they don't reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about them".

"I just want to ask you because so many people in the country have been talking about it in the last 24 hours - what did the president mean when he said some immigrants are not people, they're animals?". These aren't people. These are animals.

"Our courts are the main point of contact for millions of the most vulnerable Californians in times of anxiety, stress and crises in their lives", she said.

On Wednesday, Trump ignited criticism after a meeting with California lawmakers and officials in which he described unauthorized immigrants associated with MS-13 as "animals". He met with officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as Customs and Border Patrol.

The statistics released Thursday are in line with previous figures indicating that immigration arrests have grown under the Trump administration, but deportations have lagged behind. But as ThinkProgress has reported, it was not clear that's who Trump was referring to, and he has a long history of conflating all immigrants with those who engage in violent crime.

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Trump blamed the influx of illegal immigrants in the U.S. on the country's "dumbest laws". Flying in a dozen Republican politicians to flatter him and praise his reckless policies changes nothing. We have the weakest laws in the entire world.

According to Fox 11, jurisdictions that have either filed amicus briefs supporting the federal lawsuit or who have joined it include Newport Beach, Orange, Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Fountain Valley, San Juan Capistrano and Yorba Linda. And Trump has held numerous events in recent months during which he's drawn attention to California's policies. Democratic leaders have criticized the remarks.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said the petition would be "a big mistake" that would "disunify our majority". Brown and state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, alleging California's three sanctuary state laws (Senate Bill 54, Assembly Bill 450, Assembly Bill 103) interfere with federal immigration activities and "intentionally obstruct and discriminate" against the enforcement of federal immigration law.

Critics of the administration say rounding up thousands of undocumented immigrants who are working, contributing to their communities and staying out of trouble is not only a waste of federal resources, but part of a larger effort to demonize immigrants.

That is a flat-out lie, as we will see momentarily. Conservatives had their own session with party leaders and also suggested there had been movement, but offered no specifics.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team has told the White House that whatever evidence it comes up with in the Russian meddling probe, it can not indict President Donald Trump, according to Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. The measures never received House votes.

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