Trump Blows His Celebration of Immigration Enforcement by Remarking That Latino Officer Speaks English

The event was designed to boost morale among embattled immigration officers, but it backfired.

President Donald Trump largely stuck to scripted remarks during a Monday event honoring immigration officers at the White House. But any attempt to boost morale among the officers amid backlash against the administration’s hardline immigration policies was undermined by a brief, off-the-cuff moment when Trump invited a Latino Border Patrol agent to the podium.

“Adrian, come here. I want to ask you a question,” Trump said while introducing an agent he said had recently arrested someone attempting to smuggle dozens of immigrants. (Bloomberg reporter Jen Jacobs identified the agent as Adrian Anzaldua.) “Come here, come here. You’re not nervous, right?”

Then Trump added, “Speaks perfect English.”

The offhand comment prompted immediate outrage across the internet for suggesting that someone with a Latino background whose job is to enforce US border policy might not speak English well. The remark came less than one week after Trump attracted similar condemnation for attacking former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman as “that dog.”

Monday’s event was designed to honor officers at two embattled immigration agencies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, amid mounting calls to adopt a more humane immigration policy and “abolish” ICE. Trump repeatedly appeared to misstate the widely used acronym for Customs and Border Protection, calling the agency CBC.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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