President Donald Trump made waves on Monday at a White House event honoring border patrol agents.
The president singled out a Hispanic American Customs & Border Protection officer for his bravery. As the officer made his way to the stage, the president said:
Come here, you're not nervous are you? Speaks perfect English.
You can watch it below:
WATCH: President Trump invites a border patrol agent to speak at a White House event honoring immigration officers:… https://t.co/ukq6UtPc2P— MSNBC (@MSNBC)1534796101.0
The statement was promptly met with outrage, with many on social media pointing out what the statement implied.
Trump, calling an Hispanic looking-immigration BP agent: "Come here. You're not nervous, right? Speaks perfect Engl… https://t.co/iVCmNQPwEg— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@Holly Figueroa O'Reilly)1534796803.0
Heres’s Trump introducing a border patrol officer, who appears to be Hispanic and says “he speaks perfect English.”… https://t.co/9O0ego3XY6— Charlie (@Charlie)1534794591.0
Others pointed out that the president's own English skills seem sub-par, despite his claims to have "the best words."
@CNN @realDonaldTrump What would this President know about perfect English?— mdw831 (@mdw831)1534799388.0
@ddale8 He spoke perfect English unlike the President who speaks gibberish.— Climate Voter (@Climate Voter)1534795346.0
@christinawilkie He speaks perfect English, unlike @realDonaldTrump.— *you're (@*you're)1534794037.0
This is hardly the first time the president has dropped the ball when it comes to interactions with people of color. He caught flack for a now-infamous Cinco de Mayo tweet during the 2016 campaign.
Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics! https://t.co/ufoTeQd8yA https://t.co/k01Mc6CuDI— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1462474650.0
He even began his campaign by insulting undocumented immigrants, saying in a speech:
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
Nor are his microaggressions limited to Hispanic people. Trump used a Navajo veterans event at the White House last year as an opportunity to take a jab at Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), using the slur "Pocahontas."
However, it wasn't just the president's insensitivity that cast a shadow over today's White House event.
The event honoring border patrol agents comes as 565 undocumented children remain separated from their families due to the Trump administration's policy of trying undocumented immigrants as criminals.
When defending the policy, Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the Bible:
I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order
The rhetoric from the Trump White House appears to be emboldening Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies as well as law enforcement outside the realm of border control. In the Trump era, 287(g) programs--which allow local and state law enforcement access to immigration databases--have skyrocketed. Last month, ICE revealed that it had arrested five times more undocumented people in the first seven months of 2018 than in all of 2017.
Many feel that immigration enforcement agents are getting out of control.
ICE and our border agents did. Not. Even. Allow. Children. To say. Good bye to their parents Consider that and lo… https://t.co/ncx6H3xO4n— Ben_Franklin (@Ben_Franklin)1534678269.0
@WhiteHouse @realDonaldTrump @ICEgov @CBP ICE is out of control. We survived 200+ years without them, including two… https://t.co/hoGFCjAjGd— Paul Hobbs (@Paul Hobbs)1534796033.0
So local sheriffs, who have no legal authority when it comes to enforcing federal law, are now becoming unofficial… https://t.co/ZceIYJA6LZ— TheCriminalDefenseGuys (@TheCriminalDefenseGuys)1534802022.0
ICE is on the verge of becoming “... unaccountable and permitted to disappear” people...yikes guys this shit ain’t… https://t.co/YXBTL37rdE— JustJen (@JustJen)1534795118.0
As reports of inhumane actions surrounding the agents increase, Trump's words could be seen as a reflection of the policies the administration enforces.