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.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate