Trump Says Immigrant Children Are “Not Innocent” While Allegations Of Child Abuse Fly At Border Patrol Officials

This week on “Things Trump Said but We Really Wish He Hadn’t,” the president takes a jab at immigrant children. Yes, children. He’s said some pretty deplorable things about immigrants, especially those from our neighbor to the south, but this may take the cake. During a roundtable held at the Morrelly Homeland Security Center, Trump zeroed in on child immigrants specifically, stating quite plainly: “They look so innocent. They’re not innocent.”

President Trump’s comments that children crossing the border are little more than future criminals came at a convenient time. On the same day as his latest jab at immigrants, the ACLU released an official report that detailed a history of child abuse at immigration detention centers. 

The 30,000-page document went into great detail about the abuses suffered at the hands of Customs and Border Patrol officials and included the following specific instances:

  • Punched a child’s head three times
  • Used a stun gun on a boy, causing him to fall to the ground, shaking, with his eyes rolling back in his head
  • Ran over a 17-year-old with a patrol vehicle and then punched him several times
  • Denied a pregnant minor medical attention when she reported pain, which preceded a stillbirth
  • Threw out a child’s birth certificate and threatened him with sexual abuse by an adult male detainee
  • Subjected a 16-year-old girl to a search in which they “forcefully spread her legs and touched her private parts so hard that she screamed”

It’s clearly a horror show at detainee camps, which leads one to ponder whether Trump’s statements are, in a way, correct. Not because they’re preconditioned to become criminals, but because of the abuses they suffered at the hands of an American federal institution. If this is how the government treats them, what could possibly be waiting for them on the streets once paved with gold? 

You can bet that CBP denied the allegations, calling them “baseless,” and while it’s worth noting these instances took place before Trump’s administration, it’s unlikely to think practices have gotten any better. When Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein spoke of his time as U.S. attorney for Maryland, he claimed that gang activity was “fueled by undocumented children.” He added, “We’re letting people in who are creating problems. We’re letting people in who are gang members.”

Though they come here looking for their silver lining, immigrant children are likely only to face horrors. From medieval conditions at border patrol camps to a leader that’s already doomed them to a life of violence, what hope do they have to integrate themselves into the dwindling “American dream”?

H/T: GQ. ACLU San Diego, Twitter