Democratic leaders rushed at an opportunity to paint President Trump in a racist light following a comment he made calling violent MS-13 street gang members “animals.”
Asked about the street gang during a meeting on Wednesday, Trump remarked, “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people, these are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before,” according to Fox News.
MS-13, which has a strong presence in several U.S. states and a strong link to illegal immigration from Central America and Mexico, is known for its “unusually brutal crimes,” according to Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies. Murder, rape, and assault top the list for their frequent felonies. Drug and sex trafficking are also common.
Many of the gang members are in the U.S. illegally, and reports of brutal stabbings and mutilations are not unusual. For instance, in 2016, two Los Angeles-area girls were found mutilated beyond recognition by MS-13 members with machetes and baseball bats, The New Yorker.
The transnational gang’s motto, in fact, is “Kill, Rape, Control,” according to the Washington Post.
Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rushed to defend the MS-13 murderers and rapists, insisting that they’re not animals and that Trump was way off-base to label them so.
“When all of our great-great-grandparents came to America they weren’t ‘animals,’ and these people aren’t either,” Schumer wrote on Twitter Thursday, suggesting that Trump was referring to all immigrants.
Pelosi gave her opinion Thursday during a televised press conference, saying, “We believe, some of us who are attracted to the public arena and to government and public service, that we’re all God’s children. There’s a spark of divinity in every person on earth. And that we all have to recognize that and respect the dignity and worth of every person.”
Interestingly enough, Pelosi — a professing Catholic — supports abortion and dodged the question in 2010 of “Did Jesus have the right to life from the moment of conception?” according to the Catholic News Agency. In 1999, she voted in favor of physician-assisted suicide in California, according to On the Issues.
In her statement on Thursday, she also incorrectly claimed that Trump was referring to all “undocumented immigrants” as “animals.”
“You have to wonder, does he not believe in the spark of divinity, the dignity and worth of every person?” she said, next calling Trump’s policies “inhumane.”