Lambasting calls from some Democrats to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, Trump sought to highlight success stories of ICE and Customs and Border Protection, inviting several law enforcement officials to join him on stage in the White House’s East Room.
Then he turned to the story of a man he named only as “Adrian,” a Border Patrol agent who stopped a tractor trailer carrying 78 migrants in Laredo, Texas.
“Adrian, come here, I want to ask you a question. So how did you — come here. Come here. You’re not nervous are you?” Trump said as he encouraged the Border Patrol agent to come on stage.
“You’re not nervous, are you? Speaks perfect English,” he said.
The comment was strange considering Adrian Anzaldua, as identified by his name tag, is a federal law enforcement officer.
The moment was just one of several awkward moments during the White House event on Monday, which was billed as a “Salute to the Heroes of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.”
Trump erroneously referred seven times to the border protection agency — CBP — as “CBC,” even though the teleprompter he was reading from listed the correct acronym.
Trump focused much of his attention during the event to touting the importance of the hardline immigration policies his administration has pushed forward in his time in office, though he did not address his administration’s former policy of separating undocumented immigrant parents from their children.
Instead, Trump slammed the Democratic criticism of immigration enforcement agencies following that crisis and ICE’s broadened mandate to sweep up undocumented immigrants, regardless of whether they have committed crimes that would make them a priority for deportation.
“They have no courage, they have no guts. They just have big loud mouths and we don’t want to put up with that,” Trump said of Democratic critics. “I just want you to know that you’re loved. You’re loved and respected.”
Later, he added: “Blue wave means crime. It means open borders. Not good.”