Southern Poverty Law Center: Trump Administration’s MS-13 ‘Animals’ Label Is ‘Unacceptable,’ ‘Racist’


The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on Tuesday denounced the Trump administration's MS-13 "animals" label as "unacceptable" and "racist."

"It is unacceptable for such racist, dehumanizing language to now be repeated 10 times on the White House website in a document that speaks for America,' SPLC tweeted.


Trump's received backlash after he used the term "animals" in response to a comment from Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims about MS-13. He said the following: "We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in. We're stopping a lot of them, but we're taking people out of the country. You wouldn't believe how bad these people are. These aren't people. These are animals, and we're taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that's never happened before."

Numerous media outlets falsely reported that Trump was referring to all migrants coming into the United States. The New York Times characterized Trump's remarks as him having "lashed out at undocumented immigrants during a White House meeting," tweeting out the text of his remarks without the previous MS-13 statement for context.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and other Democrats criticized the president for the comments and accused him of calling all migrants, animals.

The White House repeated Trump's description of MS-13 and released a memo on Monday titled "What You Need To Know About the Violent Animals of MS-13," which referred to the gang members as animals ten times.

In Maryland, MS-13’s animals are accused of stabbing a man more than 100 times and then decapitating him, dismembering him, and ripping his heart out of his body. Police believe MS-13 members in Maryland also savagely beat a 15-year-old human trafficking victim. The MS-13 animals used a bat and took turns beating her nearly 30 times in total.

SPLC continued this week to denounce Trump's remarks as dehumanizing and "dangerous," arguing not even MS-13 members should be characterized in such a way.

The SPLC is a liberal, Alabama-based 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization that has gained prominence on the left for its "hate group" designations that often labels conservatives as extremists and hate groups.

Andrew Kugle   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Andrew Kugle is the assistant social media editor for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2013. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, he worked as a Staff/Press Assistant for South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem. Andrew is from De Pere, Wisconsin and lives in D.C. His Twitter handle is @AndrewJKugle. You can reach him at

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