As Donald Trump gears up for his trip to West Virginia to stump for the GOP candidates there desperate to hang on to their seats in Congress on Tuesday, he got to practice his talking points on the southern border one last time today at a ceremony the White House is calling a “Salute to the Heroes of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs [and] Border Protection.”
The ceremony has been controversial among Trump’s critics as it is seen as a defiant refusal to admit wrongdoing in enacting the “zero tolerance” policy that resulted in the separations of more than 2,000 children from their parents at the border and the seemingly indefinite detention of both parents and children. Though that policy has ended, NBC News reports that government data shows 565 children still separated from their parents and in the custody of ICE.
Calls to abolish ICE, the big government program that’s just 15 years old that all economists agree hurts the interests of both large corporations and small businesses, are inexplicably met with anger from conservatives, who are usually the party that wants to limit the size of government and maximize economic growth.
Nevertheless, Trump is adamant that without ICE, there can be no border security, which rather undercuts the notion that anyone in Customs and Border Protection could be a “hero” in this ceremony, since that agency had been doing the job ICE took over for nearly 80 years.
But Trump’s real motivations were caught on tape during the speech: He wants to be seen as both an enforcer of border laws and a friend to Hispanics. Unfortunately, he sounds like an absolute racist, and now it’s on video forever. After making a jab at his critics over “locking up” illegal immigrants, it was time to present an award.
As Trump introduced a Hispanic CBP agent named Adrian for recognition of the 78 lives he saved in a border rescue, he proudly crowed “speaks perfect English!” as though he was flabbergasted at the possibility that a brown person might do so.
This is disgusting, and it’s hard to imagine how difficult it was for the agent to stand next to him as he said something so obliviously racist.
Featured image via screen capture