Migrants coming across the southern border are dying in sizeable numbers, exploited by coyotes – “the worst scum in the world” – and hounded by criminal gangs who also pose a threat to ranchers in Texas, President Trump said during a visit to the state on Wednesday.
“You don’t have a wall, it’s never going to end,” he told reporters in San Antonio. “Dangerous people are coming here, and the good people are dying.”
During a fundraising stop in the city he met privately with a group of local officials and ranchers, then invited the media in for an unscheduled briefing to hear stories of locals finding the bodies of migrants lying in the vast tracts of brush.
Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick, seated alongside Trump, said well over one thousand dead bodies had been documented over the past 5-7 years, and those were just the ones that had been found. And, he added, they include children, pregnant women, and older people.
“The coyotes take their last money, give them some water and a sandwich,” Trump said. “And they start walking – they have hundreds of miles to walk. And they leave them to die.”
Although in the Lone Star State for campaign events, Trump told reporters the issue was a humanitarian one.
“This has nothing to do with politics. This has nothing to do with campaigning, or my campaign. This is totally unexpected that I’d have you [reporters] in here. But these people said it better than anybody else could say it, because they have to live it.”
“And it’s dangerous. And it’s really, from a humane standpoint – a humanitarian standpoint, it’s horrible.”
Trump did also take swipes at the Democrats over immigration policy, and criticized federal judges who, he said, “will rule against us no matter what.”