Official White House Twitter Account Attacks Democratic Senator in a Disgusting Defense of ICE
President Donald Trump's malicious rhetoric toward immigrants found its way directly onto the official White House Twitter account on Monday as it posted a tweet attacking Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and defending Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The tweet used the dehumanizing smear "animals" to refer to the gang MS-13, a word Trump has used in vaguer contexts, seeming to disparage all immigrants from the southern border:
.@SenKamalaHarris, why are you supporting the animals of MS-13? You must not know what ICE really does. Here is a l… https://t.co/WsOUxdLUNs— The White House (@The White House)1530563581.0
Harris hasn't joined those explicitly calling to "abolish ICE," but she said we should "critically re-examine" the agency and "think about starting from scratch."
"This was the day that the @WhiteHouse account, in a statement that will forever be archived and speaks on behalf of the people of the United States, called human beings "animals," said author Anand Giridharadas. He noted that under President Barack Obama, the White House Twitter account had never used the word "animal" to dehumanize people.
MSNBC's Chris Hayes pointed out, however, that the White House's response to the criticisms of ICE actually makes clear the weakness of its position.
"It is so revealing that the main defense of ICE are criminal arrests/prosecutions that could be done by other law enforcement agencies," he said. "Notice WH isn’t defending ICE by saying: 'But look at all these moms we arrested at a garden center in Ohio!'"
Indeed, one of the main arguments for eliminating ICE is that there's no need to waste law enforcement resources on an agency that specifically targets perpetrators of crimes who happen to be immigrants. Law enforcement should be focused on preventing and investigating serious crimes, whether committed by immigrants or anyone else. There's no need for an agency that goes out of its way to round up people who haven't hurt anyone else.