Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

There are less than 72 hours left in this Mid-Year Campaign and our independent journalism needs your help today.
If you value our work, please support Common Dreams. This is our hour of need.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

'Absolutely Disgusting': In First Comment on Deaths of Two Young Kids in US Custody, Trump Falsely Blames Democrats and Child's Father

"No empathy. No compassion. No sorrow. No regret. He doesn't even pretend to care about the death of two innocent kids."

Jake Johnson

President Donald Trump makes a video call to service members from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard stationed worldwide in the Oval Office at the White House December 25, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Zach Gibson-Pool/Getty Images)

In his first public comments on the deaths of seven-year-old Jakelin Caal and eight-year-old Felipe Gómez Alonzo in U.S. Border Patrol custody, President Donald Trump on Saturday falsely blamed the Democratic Party and Caal's father—rather than his own inhumane anti-immigrant policy agenda—in an attempt to score political points amid the ongoing government shutdown.

"Any deaths of children or others at the border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally. They can't. If we had a Wall, they wouldn't even try!" Trump wrote. "The two children in question were very sick before they were given over to Border Patrol. The father of the young girl said it was not their fault, he hadn't given her water in days."

"If you ever wondered how a person without a heart would act and speak," Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council, wrote in response to Trump's comments.

In addition to condemning the president's tweets as an "absolutely disgusting" display of immorality, commentators were also quick to note the total lack of accuracy of Trump's outburst, which came as the government shutdown appears set to continue into January with no end in sight.

According to Trump's own Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an initial health screening of Caal "revealed no evidence of health issues," contrary to Trump's evidence-free claim that the "children in question were very sick before they were given over to Border Patrol."

And contrary to Trump's claim, Caal's father never said he "hadn't given her water for days."

Trump's Saturday tweets came just days after DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen sparked outrage by blaming the deaths of the two children on "their own parents" and "open borders" advocates.

 "No empathy. No compassion. No sorrow. No regret," wrote The Intercept's Mehdi Hasan in response to Trump's tweets. "He doesn't even pretend to care about the death of two innocent kids. Has there ever been a more heartless, shameless or dysfunctional human being in the Oval Office?"


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Ocasio-Cortez Says US 'Witnessing a Judicial Coup in Process'

"It is our duty to check the Court's gross overreach of power in violating people's inalienable rights and seizing for itself the powers of Congress and the president."

Brett Wilkins ·


Critics Say Biden Drilling Bonanza 'Won't Lower Gas Prices' But 'Will Worsen Climate Crisis'

"President Biden's massive public lands giveaway in the face of utter climate catastrophe is just the latest sign that his climate commitments are mere rhetoric," said one campaigner.

Kenny Stancil ·


Grave Warnings as Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case That Threatens 'Future of Voting Rights'

"Buckle up," implores one prominent legal scholar. "An extreme decision here could fundamentally alter the balance of power in setting election rules in the states and provide a path for great threats to elections."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Urged to Take Emergency Action After 'Disastrous' Climate Ruling by Supreme Court

"The catastrophic impact of this decision cannot be understated," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, but "we cannot accept defeat."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Now We're Talking!' Says AOC as Biden Backs Filibuster Carveout for Abortion Rights

"Time for people to see a real, forceful push for it," said the New York Democrat. "Use the bully pulpit. We need more."

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo