This is not a joking matter!
The migrant families who cross the border appear to know that they have a relatively easy path to release into the United States, and they have been turning themselves over to U.S. agents, the first step in starting an asylum application process that protects them from quick deportation, resulting in additional strain on U.S. agents.
Donald Trump raised eyebrows at his campaign rally on Wednesday when he smiled and cracked a joke after a fan yelled that immigrants should be shot at the border.
Trump had been talking about immigrants coming to the US-Mexico border when he asked the crowd, ‘But how do you stop these people?’
As his fans began to shout ‘Build the wall!’ one supporter yelled ‘Shoot them!’
Trump turned his head to see the fan, smiling as his supporters burst into laughter.
The president couldn’t hold back a smile before joking with the crowd.
‘That’s only in the panhandle can you get away with that statement,’ he quipped. ‘Only in the panhandle.’
Trump had first brought up the very first speech he gave after announcing his presidential run, in which he declared that Mexicans coming to the US were ‘rapists’.
‘I talked about what’s happening. I mention the word rape,’ he told the crowd. ‘The fake news media, they went after me. Guess what? That speech was so mild compared to what’s actually happening.’
Trump then retold his story of women being smuggled across the border ‘tied up, with tape over their mouths’.
The president then noted that he doesn’t let border control ‘use weapons’ against immigrants even though ‘other countries do’.
That’s when one of his fans yelled their support for shooting down immigrants – many of whom are refugees seeking asylum.
Trump also continued to falsely claim that he had given $91billion in disaster aid to Puerto Rico, even bringing out a tiny bar graph chart to illustrate his point.
‘We’ve never given $91billion to a state. We gave it to Puerto Rico,’ he continued. ‘In fact, I brought a chart. Would you like to see a chart? Very haphazardly, I just happen to have it with me.’
Trump then pulled a standard-sized piece of paper out of his suit jacket, joking he didn’t put the chart on a big board because ‘that costs the government too much money’.
‘But you can all see that!’ he exclaimed, holding up the small piece of paper. ‘That’s Puerto Rico,’ he said, pointing at the side of the chart with the tallest bar graph.
‘They don’t like me,’ he repeated. ‘And what the Democrats want to do, they want to give more and more and I say, “You know what? I have a great relationship with the people of Puerto Rico, but it hasn’t been fair.’
‘But you’re getting your money one way or another and we’re not going to let anybody hold it up,’ Trump told his Floridian fans. ‘And I think that the people of Puerto Rico are very grateful to Donald Trump for what we’ve done for them.’
Nearly 3,000 people were killed when Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico in 2017.
Congress has so far only distributed around $11billion in aid to Puerto Rico.
The $50billion in future disaster disbursements is only speculative and it could be decades before the island sees the funds, which would still require future appropriations by Congress.
Trump also took time during his rally to defend Attorney General Bill Barr, hours after the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Barr in contempt of Congress.
‘After two years, nothing, no collusion. And now the Democrats – we have a great attorney general, now the Democrats are saying “We want more,”‘ Trump told an outdoor rally in Panama City.
‘Now they say the Mueller report, we want to start all over again. It is a disgrace.’
Speaking after House Judiciary Chairman Jerold Nadler declared a ‘constitutional crisis’ in the clash over documents and testimony, Trump fused his own defense following the two-year Mueller probe to a call for unity.
‘It’s time to come together for the people of Panama City, for the people of Florida, for the people of our country – it’s time to stop this nonsense,’ Trump implored.
Later in his remarks, Trump went after the ‘fake news’ media – then pivoted to quips about the length of his term in office.
‘They are a bunch of fakers, fakers,’ Trump said. ‘You know in six years, they’re all going to be out of business, folks,’ he said.
‘If we want to drive them crazy, I’ll say in 10 years they’ll go crazy,’ Trump said, joking about serving 12 years in office.
‘See he is a despot,’ Trump said, mocking how he said his comment would be portrayed in the media.