Rantt Rundown: The Trump Admin’s Dehumanization Of Latino Immigrants Has Gone Too Far

Day 490 of the Trump presidency
President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions stand for the national anthem during the 37th annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions stand for the national anthem during the 37th annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Thursday: May 24, 2018

I thought long and hard about what story should lead today’s Rundown.

Should we start with the canceled North Korea summit? Should we start with Roger Stone seeking Clinton emails from Wikileaks? Should we start with the White House’s effort to see classified information on an investigation the President is a subject of?

I’ll get to all that in a moment, but why don’t we start with the migrant woman who was shot and killed by a border patrol agent this week? Or the immigrant children being separated from their families at the border?

I lead with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and President Trump’s corruption scandals every day. But today, I want to highlight what should be one of the biggest scandals plaguing this presidency: the dehumanizing cruelty the Trump administration has been unleashing on Latino immigrants.

Today, President Trump said of unaccompanied minors who are crossing the border: “They look so innocent. They’re not innocent.” Trump said this in spite of the fact that only 56 out of 250,000 unaccompanied minors apprehended by border patrol were suspected or confirmed to have gang ties. Last week, President Trump once again conflated MS-13 with Latino immigrants, calling them “animals.” This fear-mongering rhetoric goes back years. But this dehumanization has moved far beyond rhetoric and has gone even further than the inhumane ICE raids we’ve seen.

A few weeks ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued an order, which DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen implemented, that requires all undocumented immigrants crossing the border be referred for criminal prosecution…including migrants seeking asylum from violence.

The move would also mean that even if immigrants caught at the border illegally have valid asylum claims, they could still end up with federal criminal convictions on their record regardless of whether a judge eventually finds they have a right to live and stay in the US.

Many of these immigrants are seeking refuge from cruelty, only to be welcomed by cruelty. NBC News reported:

From October 2017 to mid-April, before the new prosecution strategy officially went into effect, more than 700 children were reportedly separated from their parents at the border. The federal government has not released figures from May, but those who work on immigration cases have observed a large increase in the number of children affected. Nogueras said he previously saw only one or two such cases a week in the McAllen courtroom in the Southern District of Texas; last week, he saw about 33 cases.

Here are some specific examples:

Make no mistake, this is a new policy. Children have never been systematically separated from their parents at the border, as was noted in a segment on Chris Hayes’ show:

And last year, 1,500 migrant children were misplaced.

These people aren’t animals. They aren’t criminals. These are mothers, fathers, and children. Some are seeking refugee or opportunity in America only to be met with tragedy.

There are countless examples of Latino Americans feeling the fallout from this dehumanization as well.

I shouldn’t have to remind you of the historical parallels here. That’s a story for another piece.

We have to shed a light on this. Especially when Trump questions whether undocumented immigrants should have the right to a trial at all. Hopefully, these actions of the Trump administration treating Latino immigrants like animals will begin to garner as much outrage as his “animal” comments received.

Updated May 26, 2018

Donald Trump falsely blamed this policy on Democrats.


Today, in a letter addressed to Kim Jong-un, President Trump pulled out of the June 12th summit that was set to be held in Singapore. In his letter, Trump cited that his decision to withdraw was the result of the “tremendous anger and open hostility” exhibited in yesterday’s statement from vice-foreign minister and nuclear negotiator, Choe Son Hui.

Choe’s statement warned, “we can also make the US taste an appalling tragedy it has neither experienced nor even imagined up to now” and referred to Vice President Mike Pence as a “political dummy.”

But his reasoning is not as simple as Trump claims.

  • To use his phrase, it appears Roger Stone may have his time in the barrel.

This contradicts Roger Stone’s denials in his congressional testimony, making him susceptible to perjury charges.

  • The Justice Department briefed members of the House and Senate on the FBI informant that President Trump has been falsely smearing as a spy. And some White House folks crashed the briefings.

And in his typical style, Rudy Giuliani admitted what everyone suspected their strategy is.

  • President Trump started his day with a blatant lie, further perpetuating his conspiracy theory in an effort to undermine Mueller’s investigation.

  • President Trump signed a rollback of Dodd-Frank.
  • President Trump said that NFL players who protest shouldn’t be in the country.
  • The Daily Beast reported:

FBI agents armed with a court order have seized control of a key server in the Kremlin’s global botnet of 500,000 hacked routers, The Daily Beast has learned. The move positions the bureau to build a comprehensive list of victims of the attack, and short-circuits Moscow’s ability to reinfect its targets.

  • The chickens came home to roost for Harvey Weinstein.

Rundown // Donald Trump / Immigration / Justice