President Donald Trump is ratcheting up his rhetoric when it comes those seeking asylum in the United States, telling a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition Saturday in Las Vegas that most of those who want to enter the U.S. look like they should be “fighting for the UFC.”
During an extended rant on the issue of immigration and the border, the president suggested that the current asylum program is “a scam.” He then added:
“Some of the roughest people you’ve ever seen, people that look like they should be fighting for the UFC. They read a little page given by lawyers that are all over the place — you know lawyers, they tell them what to say. You look at this guy, you say, wow, ‘that’s a tough cookie.'”
In a deep voice, Trump pretended to be someone seeking refuge:
“I am very fearful for my life, I am very worried that I will be accosted if I’m sent back home.”
Trump also slammed those who support immigrant rights and legal immigration:
“Oh, give him asylum — he’s afraid, he’s afraid! We don’t love the fact that he’s got tattoos on his face, that’s not a good sign. We don’t love the fact that he’s carrying the flag of Honduras or Guatemala or El Salvador, only to say he’s petrified to be in his country.”
The president then defended his decision to cut all U.S. aid to three Central American nations (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) that have seen large numbers of their citizens leaving to seek asylum in the U.S.:
“The Democrats say, ‘how dare you do that, that money is used for all this good!'” Trump said. “But no it’s not, it’s largely stolen.”
“Now if their government wanted to, I have a feeling they’d be able to stop caravans from forming in those three countries, I have a feeling. They’re pretty tough, they’re pretty tough down there. And, but they didn’t, so I stopped the payments.”
The simple fact is that Trump is lying. He says that those seeking asylum are members of gangs and criminals, but he has no evidence to support his assertions. The International Rescue Committee reports:
“Contrary to the Administration’s claims, and based on the International Rescue Committee’s experience in the region, the fears of persecution among those fleeing Central America are very real: Current levels of violence in the ‘Northern Triangle’ region (El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala) are akin to those in the deadliest war zones around the world and continue to increase.
“Many have credible asylum claims and the legal right to have their cases heard without being criminalized or, in the case of families, without having their children taken from them.”
Donald Trump, as has been proven time and time again, is a pathological liar, racist, and xenophobe. He uses the issue of legal immigration and asylum to spread fear and hatred among his base supporters. And with the 2020 election just around the corner, we can expect more vitriol to be spewed by him.
Featured Image Via CNN