In response to photos, news reports, and first-hand accounts of the horrific conditions inside Border Patrol detention centers in Texas, President Donald Trump on Wednesday fired off a tweet blaming migrants themselves for the abuse they are now enduring at the hands of his administration.
"If illegal immigrants are unhappy with the conditions in the quickly built or refitted detentions centers, just tell them not to come," Trump wrote. "All problems solved!"
If Illegal Immigrants are unhappy with the conditions in the quickly built or refitted detentions centers, just tell them not to come. All problems solved!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2019
Critics slammed the president's tweet as a particularly "monstrous" example of victim blaming as the administration faces accusations of rampant mistreatment of asylum seekers and immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their families and forced to live in overcrowded facilities without adequate food, water, soap, toothpaste, and other basic necessities.
Some argued the president's tweet amounted to an admission that his administration is deliberately creating appalling conditions at detention facilities along the southern border in an effort to deter migrants entering the United States.
So you admit the conditions are not only atrocious, but intentionally so. https://t.co/CWxracn7TB
— Zack Ford (@ZackFord) July 3, 2019
And there it is. An admission that the cruelty is indeed the point. https://t.co/ujeC3RwZtz
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— Matt Valenti (@MattDValenti) July 3, 2019
In a series of earlier tweets on Wednesday, Trump praised Border Patrol for doing a "great job" as the agency comes under fire for a secret Facebook group in which current and former officials made violent and xenophobic comments about members of Congress and migrants.
Trump also attempted to justify the squalid conditions at detention facilities by claiming they are "far better" and "far safer" than the environment migrants fled.
"It's hard to overstate the level of venality and depravity this man is capable of," Greg Sargent of the Washington Post wrote in response to the president's tweets.