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The Trump Administration's Record of Racism

(The first 200+ documented examples)

Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?
— President Donald Trump, January 12, 2018

About this Report

This report, compiled by Democracy in Color researchers, catalogs the first 200+ documented examples of racism by Trump and his administration from January 2017-August 2018.

Table of Contents

  1. First Appointments, Nominations   

  2. Inaugural Address   

  3. First 100 Days in Office   

    1. January 2017, Generally   

    2. Crime   

    3. Muslim Ban   

    4. Immigration Threatening White Culture   

    5. February 2017, Generally  

    6. March & April 2017

  4. Summer 2017

    1. Before Charlottesville   

    2. Charlottesville   

    3. After Charlottesville 

  5. Terminations of Temporary Protective Status   

  6. 2017 NFL Anthem Protests   

  7. October 2017, Generally  

  8. November 2017, Generally  

  9. December 2017, Generally  

  10. January 2018, Generally  

  11. February 2018, Generally  

  12. March 2018, Generally  

  13. April 2018, Generally

  14. May 2018, Generally  

  15. June 2018, Generally  

  16. July 2018, Generally  

  17. Family Separations

    1. Family Separations Under Discussion  

    2. Family Separations Escalate  

    3. Criticism of Family Separations Mounting   

    4. Administration Haltingly Backpedals From Family Separations

  18. August 2018, Generally 

First Appointments, Nominations

Following Donald Trump’s Election Day victory in 2016, and a corresponding spike in hate crimes, Trump stocked his administration with staff who had personal and professional track records of hostility toward people of color.

Trump selected Steve Bannon to serve in his White House as Chief Strategist in the week following Election Day. Bannon’s rich history of racist statements and positions complemented his role in making Breitbart News “a white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Trump elevated Stephen Miller to the White House as Senior Advisor to the President for Policy. Like Bannon and Jeff Sessions, in whose senatorial office he worked, Miller boasts an extensive history of racist statements and positions. Miller has since proceeded to play a leading role in much of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, including family separations of asylum seekers crossing the southern border.

Then, as one of his first acts as president, Trump nominated early supporter and Miller’s former boss Sessions as Attorney General. This was Sessions’ second shot at Senate confirmation, following his rejection for a federal judgeship by the Senate in 1986. The hostility to civil rights and racial animosity shown to a subordinate which made Sessions unfit for the judiciary over 30 years prior posed little obstacle to Sessions’ confirmation as the country’s top law enforcement officer, by a largely party-line vote, in 2018. Like Miller, Sessions would also go on to serve as a bulldog for some of the Trump administration’s harshest immigration policies, largely targeting people of color.

Inaugural Address

Continuing with the themes that helped him secure a 58-to-37 percent margin over Hillary Clinton among white voters, President Trump leaned heavily on fear, dystopia, and racial dog whistles in his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2017.

On border security and trade:

We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.

On crime and gangs, which Trump often inaccurately ties to immigration:

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction, that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

And, after making a Muslim ban a cornerstone of his campaign, Trump offered this in his inaugural address’ sole reference to Islam or Muslims:

We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth.

These tropes, as with much of Trump’s campaign rhetoric, could be summarized using the President’s own words, albeit borrowed from past American xenophobes and nativists:

From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first.

First 100 Days in Office

The Trump administration wasted little time delivering on promises made on the campaign trail and in President Trump’s inaugural address, through their words, their deed, and as demonstrated in the team they built.

January 2017, Generally

Julia Hahn, a Bannon protege, immigration hardliner, and writer for the white nationalist website Breitbart News, was reportedly hired by the Trump White House on Jan. 22, 2017. According to Wikipedia, the digitally reclusive Hahn continues to work in the White House as of August 2018.

Native Americans first came into President Trump’s crosshairs on Jan. 24, 2017 when he reversed holds President Obama had placed on two oil pipelines, including one through the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. That latter pipeline’s construction was opposed by over 200 Indian nations from across North America.

Also on Jan. 24, 2017, reports surfaced that Trump would appoint an Islamophobe with prior ties to pro-Nazi groups in Hungary as well as the white nationalist website Breitbart News. Sebastian Gorka served in the Trump White House as deputy assistant to the president, where he reliably defended hardline immigration policies. Since fired by the White House after feuding with more moderate members of the administration, Gorka regularly appears on Fox News now as a mouthpiece for the administration.

Among his first acts as president, on Jan. 25, 2017, Trump removed a Norman Rockwell painting of the Statue of Liberty from the Oval Office. A symbol of the United States as a diverse country of immigrants, the Statue of Liberty bears the words of Emma Lazarus, from her sonnet “The New Colossus”:

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Trump replaced the painting of this symbol of America’s multiculturalism with a portrait of a populist demagogue who owned slaves and is often held up as among the foremost ethnic cleansers in U.S. history. Where a beacon to immigrants once stood, Trump’s Oval Office now presents an image of President Andrew Jackson, so recently cast in disgrace with plans for his removal from the $20 bill. (Those plans for replacing Jackson with escaped slave and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman were recently shelved by Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Aug. 31, 2017.)

Also on Jan. 25, 2017, Trump also issued two relevant executive orders. In one, Trump called for the construction of a wall along the border with Mexico, a key component of Trump’s platform as a presidential candidate. Under this executive order, additional detention facilities were set to be built near the border to house individuals residing in or entering the U.S. without legal permission. Trump doubled down on his calls for a southern border wall two days later on a call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

In another executive order issued on Jan. 25, 2017, Trump prioritized the deportation of individuals who “pose a risk to public safety or national security.” This directive applied not only to non-citizens found guilty of a criminal offense, but also those who have been charged with, but not convicted, of a crime. This order also reinstituted “Secure Communities,” a deportation program discontinued under the Obama administration which uses local law enforcement arrest data to identify individuals residing in the U.S. without legal permission.

Jan. 27, 2017 was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the administration issued a related statement calling for honoring the memories of “victims, survivors, [and] heroes” of the Holocaust, but making no mention of Jewish people, specifically, or the ideology of anti-Semitism. The omissions were criticized by Jewish advocacy groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect.

Also on Jan. 27, 2017, the administration floated the appointment of Jon D. Feere to an “immigration-related position” within the Department of Homeland Security. Feere is an opponent of birthright citizenship and previously served as a legal analyst with the Center for Immigration Studies, which regularly circulates writings of white nationalists and Holocaust deniers and is designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

On Jan. 31, 2017, legal counsel for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under Chairman Ajit Pai filed a legal brief indicating that they would no longer defend caps on phone rates for prisoners, disproportionately affecting people of color. Mignon Clyburn, the sole Democratic commissioner, has been the leading champion of prison phone rate restrictions. She has called the soaring cost of prison phone rates a civil rights issue, preventing inmates from being able to call the 2.7 million children in America with at least one incarcerated parent. Trump elevated Pai to FCC chair just days prior to this legal filing and then nominated him to serve a second term on the FCC in March 2017.

Crime

Following up on a related tweet about “carnage” in Chicago the prior day, Trump said in a Jan. 25 interview with David Muir of ABC News:

When President Obama was [in Chicago] two weeks ago making a speech, very nice speech. Two people were shot and killed during his speech. You can't have that ... . They weren't shot at the speech. But they were shot in the city of Chicago during his speech.

This quote continues a trio of threads Trump sustains on the topic of crime. First, he lays into the United States’ first black president, implying that Barack Obama failed to deliver in his job — a stereotype against black people which Trump reportedly embraced in the past.

Second, Trump’s quote also raised the specter of crime — especially in Obama’s hometown of Chicago — a consistent crutch of Trump’s rhetoric, which he often blames on people of color. While the Black Lives Matter movement and protests by black athletes — both frequent Trump punching bags — have highlighted the scourge of police brutality against people of color in recent years, Trump often invokes police being restrained from doing their jobs as a cause of crime and violence.

Third, Trump employs a common weapon for him in this quote of grossly misstating or manufacturing “facts.”

“No one was killed in Chicago during President Barack Obama’s farewell address,” the Chicago Tribune concluded in fact-checking Trump’s assertion. “The Tribune's crime database showed no slayings for about 24 hours before and after Obama's speech, which lasted from 8:02 to 8:53 p.m. Jan. 10. A man was shot about 20 minutes after the speech, but that victim survived.”

Trump continued this trend of inaccurately reeling off crime statistics at a GOP retreat in Philadelphia the following day, then again before a meeting of the National Sheriffs Association at the White House on Feb. 8, 2017.

Trump issued an executive order establishing a task force on crime reduction and public safety on Feb. 9, 2017. In the order, Trump incorrectly highlights immigrants as a major cause violent crime. “A focus on law and order and the safety and security of the American people requires a commitment to enforcing the law and developing policies that comprehensively address illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and violent crime,” the order reads.

Persisting in misidentifying immigrants as disproportionately responsible for violent crime, on Feb. 20, 2017, the Trump administration created an office to specifically highlight crimes committed by immigrants. Housed within Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), then-Director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) John Kelly created the Victims of Immigration Crime Enforcement (VOICE) office on the basis that "[c]riminal aliens routinely victimize U.S. citizens and other legal residents." After an April 2017 press release about VOICE, immigrant advocates were swift to expressly criticize the racism behind the office’s creation.

The president’s misinformed obsession with crime caused by people of color, immigrants and overly-aggressive civil rights enforcement continued on March 28, 2017. At a White House meeting with police union leaders, Trump said:

Sadly, our police are often prevented from doing their jobs. When policing is reduced, the main victims are the most vulnerable citizens of our society — and you see that all over. In too many of our communities, violent crime is on the rise, and in too many places, our citizens have not been safe for a very, very long time.

These are the painful realities many in Washington do not want to talk about. They just don’t want to hear about it.

...

We will work every day to remove the gang members, drug dealers, and violent criminals from your communities — and we already are. They’re being moved very quickly. In fact, [Department of Homeland Security Secretary] General Kelly, as you know, has done a fantastic job on the border. Down 61 percent since inauguration. People coming in down 61 percent, which is a tremendous number.

President Trump continued his obsession with crime — which he often blames on people of color, immigrants, and civil rights — with a June 30, 2017 tweet, saying, "Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help. 1714 shootings in Chicago this year!"

Late July 2017 saw the Trump administration’s obsession with crime continue, beginning with Attorney General Sessions’ remarks to law enforcement officers in Philadelphia on July 24. "Here in Philadelphia the murder has been steady — I mean — just terribly increasing," Sessions said in remarks rated mostly false by Politifact. "Preliminary data show murders are up 20 percent from last year. It will put the murder rate at the highest this decade in the city.”

Trump continued the trope in a Youngstown, Ohio rally on July 26, 2017, saying: “This month in Chicago, there have been more than two homicide victims per day. What the hell is going on in Chicago? Better tell that mayor to get tough because it’s not working what they’re doing."

He persisted in a speech on MS-13 at Suffolk County Community College on July, 28, 2017, saying: "So, Chicago is having this unbelievable violence. People being killed — four, five, six in a weekend and I'm saying, What is going on?"

On Oct. 11, 2017, Trump returned to his habit of fabricating facts about crime in an apparent effort to blame people of color, immigrants and civil rights restraining local law enforcement for violent crime.

"I'll never forget. I was in Chicago and a police officer. There was a motorcycle detail to the plane and I was talking to the police, I was taking a picture,” Trump said during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “I said, 'How do you stop this?' 'We could stop it immediately, sir.' I said 'What do you mean you could stop it immediately?' 'If they let us do our job, we could stop it immediately.' Now at some point you're gonna have to let them do their job. And they want to do their job. That's the incredible thing."

On Oct. 20, 2017, President Trump tweeted, “Just out report: ‘United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror.’ not good, we must keep America safe!” While the 13% increase in crime was factually accurate, there is no basis for assigning it to anything related to "Radical Islamic terror."

During an Oct. 24, 2017 interview with WJLA, former White House aide Seb Gorka picked up the president’s obsession with urban crime and questionable grasp of facts and ran with it:

Our big issue is black African gun crime against black Africans. It is a tragedy. Go to Chicago. Go to the cities run by Democrats for 40 years. Black young men are murdering each other by the bushel. This is a social issue. Allow the police to do their jobs and rebuild those societies. Legislation will not save lives.

President Trump sounded similar themes in arguments for his border wall from the East Room of the White House on Oct. 26, 2017, saying, "An astonishing 90 percent of the heroin in America comes from south of the border, where we will be building a wall which will greatly help in this problem. It will have a great impact."

“A wall … would largely be an irrelevance to the trade [of heroin],” the Economist reported. “Most heroin that comes across the Mexican border is transported by vehicle and smuggled through official entry points because it is a low-volume, high-value commodity.”

Speaking to reporters in Seoul, South Korea asking about gun control on Nov. 7, 2017, following the Nov. 5 mass shooting in Sunderland Springs, Texas, President Trump incorrectly said, "Look at the city with the strongest gun laws in our nation -- Chicago. Chicago is a disaster, a total disaster. If this man did not have a gun or rifle it would have been a much worse situation in the great state of Texas."

At a Dec. 8, 2017 rally in Pensacola, Fla., Trump returned to the subject of urban crime, making comments without regard for facts and somehow finding a way to scapegoat immigrants:

The city of Chicago. What the hell is going on in Chicago? There are those who say that Afghanistan is safer than Chicago, okay? What is going on? You know what's wrong with Chicago? Weak, ineffective politicians. Democrats that don't want to force restrictions and don't, and by the way, Chicago, -- for those of you that are gonna say, 'Guns, guns' -- Chicago has the toughest gun laws in the United States, okay? Just in case you were thinking about it. You know they immediately say, 'Oh, you're gonna take away.' Well, Chicago has the toughest gun laws in the United States. So we're asking Democrats in Congress to cease their obstruction and do the right thing -- end sanctuary cities.

At the Dec. 15, 2017 FBI graduation ceremony in Quantico, Va., President Trump returned to the issue of urban crime, saying:

When you look at what's going on in Chicago. What the hell is going on in Chicago? What the hell is happening there? For the second year in a row, a person was shot in Chicago every three hours. You don't think the people in this room can stop that? They'd stop it. They'd stop it.

On Jan. 19, 2018, President Trump again inaccurately connected immigration and crime, tweeting:

“Crime in Germany is up 10% plus (officials do not want to report these crimes) since migrants were accepted. Others countries are even worse. Be smart America!”

On April 18, 2018, President Trump echoed white nationalist talking points, tweeting:

There is a Revolution going on in California. Soooo many Sanctuary areas want OUT of this ridiculous, crime infested & breeding concept. Jerry Brown is trying to back out of the National Guard at the Border, but the people of the State are not happy. Want Security & Safety NOW!

President Trump returned to the issue of crime with a May 25, 2018 tweet:

Chicago Police have every right to legally protest against the mayor and an administration that just won’t let them do their job. The killings are at a record pace and tough police work, which Chicago will not allow, would bring things back to order fast...the killings must stop!

Muslim Ban

On Jan. 27, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13769, fulfilling his campaign promise of a “Muslim ban,” the term he initially used to describe the policy. The order specifically suspended refugee admissions into the United States for 120 days and denied entry for any reason to citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days.

On Jan. 30, 2017, he argued in favor of his Muslim ban, tweeting, “If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the ‘bad’ would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad ‘dudes’ out there!”

President Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Jan. 31, 2017 for refusing to defend the Muslim ban.

On Feb. 3, 2017 and Feb. 4, 2017, President Trump tweeted additional defenses of his Muslim ban. He continued on Feb. 6, 2017.

On March 6, 2017, after critical reviews of his first Muslim ban by federal courts, President Trump issued Executive Order 13870, promulgating his second Muslim ban.

On June 3, 2017, President Trump tweeted:

We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”

On June 5, 2017, President Trump tweeted:

1. People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!
2. The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.
3. The Justice Dept. should ask for an expedited hearing of the watered down Travel Ban before the Supreme Court - & seek much tougher version!

4. That's right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries, not some politically correct term that won't help us protect our people!

While his Muslim ban wound through courts, on Aug. 17, 2017, President Trump tweeted a falsehood that was a common theme at rallies during his presidential campaign:

Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!

On Aug. 18, 2017, President Trump tweeted:

Homeland Security and law enforcement are on alert & closely watching for any sign of trouble. Our borders are far tougher than ever before!

The Obstructionist Democrats make Security for our country very difficult. They use the courts and associated delay at all times. Must stop!

Radical Islamic Terrorism must be stopped by whatever means necessary! The courts must give us back our protective rights. Have to be tough!

Following a terrorist attack in London, on Sept. 15, 2017, President Trump tweeted:

Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!

The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific-but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!

The president retweeted his above tweet about the “travel ban” two days later on Sept. 17, 2017.

On Sept. 24, 2017, after additional legal setbacks, President Trump issued his third and final Muslim ban by executive order.

A Nov. 20, 2017 letter from the DHS Inspector General John Roth detailed how the botched rollout of President Trump’s first Muslim ban resulted in federal agents violating court orders by barring certain passengers from boarding U.S.-bound planes.

Following a Nov. 24, 2017 terrorist attack in Egypt, Trump tweeted arguments in favor of both his Muslim ban and the proposed southern border wall, saying:

Will be calling the President of Egypt in a short while to discuss the tragic terrorist attack, with so much loss of life. We have to get TOUGHER AND SMARTER than ever before, and we will. Need the WALL, need the BAN! God bless the people of Egypt.

The DHS Inspector General’s office finalized its report on Jan. 19, 2018 finding that Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) violated court orders in enforcing Trump’s first Muslim ban.

In a Jan. 28, 2018 interview with Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro, White House advisor Rudy Giuliani explained the reframing of Trump’s Muslim ban, saying:

So when he first announced it, he said “Muslim ban.” He called me up. He said, “Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.” What we did was we focused on, instead of religion, danger. It’s based on places where there are substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.

On April 30, 2018, after the Department of Justice (DOJ) argued before the Supreme Court that the Muslim ban was merely a travel ban for national security reasons, a reporter offered President Trump the opportunity to repudiate his past calls for a Muslim ban in order to appease the Justices. Trump replied:

I don’t think it it would, No. 1. And there’s no reason to apologize. Our immigration laws in this country are a total disaster. They’re laughed at all over the world — they’re laughed at for their stupidity, and we have to have strong immigration laws. So I think if I apologize, it wouldn’t make 10 cents’ worth of difference to them. There’s nothing to apologize for.

On June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s Muslim ban by a five-to-four vote with Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Justice Neil Gorsuch voting with the majority.

Immigration Threatening White Culture

On Jan. 29, 2017, President Trump tweeted what would become a theme of his rhetoric when discussing immigration and predominantly white countries. He echoed the white nationalist talking point that immigration is ruining or even extinguishing the culture of predominantly white countries. “Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the whole world - a horrible mess!” Trump tweeted.

In a July 6, 2017 speech in Warsaw, Poland, Trump focused his remarks on the white nationalist theme of western “civilization” and culture being threatened by Islamic countries and immigration, generally. “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost?” Trump said. “Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”

On June 18, 2018, amid the uproar over family separations discussed below, President Trump tweeted:

The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!

We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!

At a July 13, 2018 press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London, President Trump again echoed white nationalist talking points about immigration:

Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame. I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was and I don’t mean that in a positive way.

So I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad. I think you are losing your culture. Look around. You go through certain areas that didn’t exist ten or 15 years ago.

February 2017, Generally

President Trump kicked off Black History Month on Feb. 1, 2017 with what he called “our little breakfast,” during which, he made remarks that appeared to reveal that he did not know who Frederick Douglass was. His remarks then veered into topics unrelated to the occasion.

On Feb. 8, 2017, Trump appointed Mike Anton as deputy assistant to the president for strategic communications for the National Security Council. Anton served in that position until his pro-Trump writings during the 2016 Presidential campaign were discovered in which he espoused Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, and anti-Semitic views like those endorsed by the Trump campaign.

During a White House press conference on Feb. 16, 2017, President Trump took a question from reporter April Ryan, who is black, about whether he would include the Congressional Black Caucus — which Ryan identified by its common acronym “the CBC” — in conversations on his urban agenda.

The exchange was recorded as follows by Vox:

“Am I going to include who?” he asked, [appearing not to know who the CBC was.]

Ryan clarified: “Are you going to include the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus — ”

“Well, I would,” Trump interrupted. “I tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting? Do you want to set up the meeting?”

“No, no, no, I’m just a reporter,” Ryan said.

“Are they friends of yours?” Trump asked.

Ryan replied, before Trump cut her off again, “I know some of them, but I’m sure they’re watching right now — ”

“I would love to meet with the Black Caucus,” Trump said. “I think it’s great, the Congressional Black Caucus, I think it’s great.”

As it turns out, the CBC asked Trump for a meeting weeks ago and never heard back.

Amid an uptick in threats to Jewish centers following Trump’s election, the president clashed with reporter Jake Turx, who is Jewish, also during the Feb. 16, 2017 press conference at the White House. CNBC reported:

"I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life," Trump said Thursday at his first solo White House faceoff with the media since taking office. He added that he is also the "least racist person."

The president was responding to a question about recent threats to Jewish centers across the country and rising anti-Semitism.

"What we are concerned about and what we haven't really heard being addressed is an uptick in anti-Semitism and how the government is planning to take care of it," said the reporter, Jake Turx of an orthodox Jewish weekly called Ami. "There's been a report out that 48 bomb threats have been made against Jewish centers all across the country in the last couple of weeks. There are people committing anti-Semitic acts or threatening to——"

Trump interrupted, saying it was "not a fair question." After Turx tried to interject, Trump told him to be "quiet." The president later called the question "insulting."

The following day, on Feb. 21, 2017, Attorney General Sessions rescinded a prior DOJ memorandum declaring the department’s position to disfavor contracts with private prison to house federal prisoners. Then on Jan. 24, 2018, DOJ’s Assistant Director for Correctional Programs Frank Lara issued a memo indicating that the department intended to actually increase population levels in private prisons. According to Government Executive, “The memo came just days after the bureau held a conference call with facility administrators, instructing them to prepare for a 12 percent to 14 percent reduction in their authorized staffing levels.” According to the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General, private prisons run increased safety risks for both inmates and prison staff. As with all criminal justice policies in the United States, private prison determinations disproportionately affect people of color.

On Feb. 27, 2017, the DOJ abandoned their argument that a Texas voter identification law was passed with discriminatory intent, weakening federal protections for voters of color under the Voting Rights Act.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration spent an entire week refusing to acknowledge a hate crime in Olathe, Kan., where a white man shouting “Get out of my country” shot two immigrants from India, killing one. The incident occurred on Feb. 22, 2017. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was first asked about the tragedy on Feb. 24, 2017, but he refused the link between increased hate crimes and the president’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. The administration first spoke out against the shooting on March 1, 2017 during Trump’s address to Congress, calling it “an act of racially motivated hatred” on the same day that the Federal Bureau of Investigations announced that it was investigating it as a hate crime.

“At some point, embarrassingly late begins to verge on something more disquieting. President Donald Trump has silently planted himself in that space,” the Kansas City Star editorialized on Feb. 27, 2017. “[W]ith each passing day, Trump’s silence is even more telling.”

In his first address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 28, 2017, President Trump continued to use the term “radical Islamic terror” over the objections of advisors. The term, disfavored by past presidents for linking theology with acts of terrorism, has been tweeted by President Trump eight times since his inauguration, according to trumptwitterarchive.com.

March & April 2017

On March 31, 2017, Attorney General Sessions ordered the review of all DOJ agreements with local law enforcement agencies requiring reforms, including reductions in use of force and discriminatory practices. The order led to the suspension of all “consent decrees,” agreements which are among the most effective tools at exercising federal oversight over law enforcement agencies with a pattern and practice of police misconduct violating civil rights. In his memo, Sessions echoed segregationist rhetoric, saying “local control and local accountability are necessary for effective local policing.” Sessions later defended his order, claiming that consent decrees lower police morale and lead to increased crime. That claim is specious.

In another memorandum issued on April 11, 2017, Sessions called for increased criminal prosecutions of non-citizens to “further reduce illegality.”

“Although federal prosecution for unlawful entry, re-entry, and similar offenses is already at an all-time high and constitutes more than half of all federal criminal charges, Sessions’ directives threaten to dramatically increase the number of criminal prosecutions for immigration violations,” the Catholic Legal Reform Network said. “When implemented, it will affect both undocumented border crossers and immigrants already in the United States.”

On April 27, 2017, then-Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman — nominally the White House’s liaison to black communities — indicated that black people weren’t trying hard enough to work with the administration.

At a Harrisburg, Pa. rally celebrating his first 100 days in office on April 29, 2017, Trump recited the poem “The Snake,” a parable he turned to often during his campaign to warn against the supposed dangers of allowing Syrian refugees into the country. (See Trump’s Feb. 23, 2018 CPAC speech for more.)

Summer 2017

The unprecedented White House support for white supremacist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Va. loomed large over the summer of 2017. Plenty of unrelated statements and policies disproportionately targeting people of color came out of the Trump administration both before and after the events in Charlottesville that summer, however.

Before Charlottesville

Following up on his Black History Month remarks apparently revealing his ignorance of who Frederick Douglass was, President Trump displayed further lack of historical awareness in addressing the causes of the Civil War in a May 2, 2017 interview with Salena Zito of the Washington Examiner:

I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn’t have had the civil war. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart.

He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the civil war. He said, ‘There’s no reason for this.’ People don’t realize, you know, the civil war – if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there a civil war? Why could that one not have been worked out?

“The civil war was fought over slavery – the enslavement in the United States of African Americans – and related territorial, economic and cultural struggles,” noted the Guardian. “Many scholars noted that the investigation of the civil war’s roots was one of the richest veins in all of US historiography.”

On the same day, in an appropriations bill signing statement since removed from the White House’s website, Trump singled out funding for historically black colleges as potentially unconstitutional for “allocat[ing] benefits on the basis of race, ethnicity and gender.”

On May 5, 2017, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Army Mark Green withdrew from consideration, saying, “my Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized and attacked by a few on the other side of the aisle for political gain.” Those “Christian beliefs” were anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, and homophobic, including remarks to a local radio station that “I’m going to protect our state against potential infiltration of the Syrian ISIS people through our refugee program.” At a Chattanooga Tea Party rally, Green was found to have said that he would not permit studies of Muslim religious practices while simultaneously mischaracterizing Muslim beliefs.

Attorney General Sessions continued to pursue harsh, tough-on-crime policies disproportionately affecting people of color with a May 10, 2017 memo ordering federal prosecutors to charge the most serious offenses possible in a given case. That directive reversed an Obama-era determination that prosecutors should exercise discretion to avoid “unduly harsh sentences and perceived or actual disparities” in criminal justice. The reversed Obama-era memo observed, “Long sentences for low-level, non-violent drug offenses do not promote public safety, deterrence, and rehabilitation.”

On May 16, 2017, a White House roundtable on California’s sanctuary state policy, President Trump appeared to refer to deported immigrants as “animals” in responding to a question about MS-13.

At the U.S. Coast Guard Academy commencement on May 17, 2017, President Trump said of an upcoming trip to the Middle East, “I'll speak with Muslim leaders and challenge them to fight hatred and extremism and embrace a peaceful future for their faith. And they're looking very much forward to hearing what we, as your representative, we have to say. We have to stop radical Islamic terrorism.”

In its fiscal year 2018 budget justification, sent to Congress on May 23, 2017, ICE requested increased funding for a 25-percent increase in immigration detainees driven by “significantly higher” lengths of stay.

In an internal White House meeting on June 1, 2017, Trump said that Haitians “all have AIDS.” Of Nigerians, Trump said that they will never “go back to their huts,” once they see the United States. This meeting reportedly followed President Trump hearing from friends that he looked like a fool for allowing so many foreigners into the U.S.

To rescind the Obama-era Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), then-DHS Secretary John Kelly issued a June 15, 2017 memo identifying eligible parents as “illegal aliens.” If implemented, DAPA would have applied to an estimated 3.7 million undocumented parents of either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. These 3.7 million people did not have criminal records and had continually resided in the U.S. since before Jan. 1, 2010.

Following the rescission of DAPA, in a Sept. 5, 2017 memo by then-DHS Acting Director Elaine Duke, the Trump administration ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In place for five years, the policy deferred deportations for approximately 800,000 immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. According the the New York Times, President Trump and Attorney General Sessions announced the program’s termination together, using “the aggrieved language of anti-immigration activists, arguing that those in the country illegally are lawbreakers who hurt native-born Americans by usurping their jobs and pushing down wages.”

On June 17, 2017, Sheriff David Clarke withdrew from consideration for an appointment to DHS as Assistant Secretary for Partnership and Engagement. Clarke’s appointment was controversial based on alleged plagiarism of his college thesis and his harsh treatment of mentally ill people in the Milwaukee jail he once oversaw, where four inmates died during Clarke’s tenure, including one newborn baby.

Clarke, who is black, also has a history of racism, once saying on his podcast, “Let me tell you why blacks sell drugs and involve themselves in criminal behavior instead of a more socially acceptable lifestyle: because they're uneducated, they're lazy and they're morally bankrupt.” Clarke has since accepted a position with the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action.

In an apparent effort to force purges of states’ voter files, the DOJ sent a June 28, 2017 letter to 44 states requesting detailed information for how they maintain those files.

On July 1, 2017, President Trump nominated Sam Clovis for Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics. Clovis was then a White House advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), previously having served on Trump’s campaign as a policy advisor, then as national co-chairperson and as a frequent spokesperson. While his USDA nomination was under consideration, Clovis’ defunct blog was uncovered which called progressives “liars, race traders and race ‘traitors,’” according to CNN. Clovis’ nomination was subsequently withdrawn amid scrutiny for his role in Trump campaign connections to Russia.

Trump’s DOJ declared war on affirmative action admissions policies in universities, deemed to discriminate against white applicants in an Aug. 1, 2017 internal announcement by the DOJ’s Office of Civil Rights Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore. The New York Times reported that the department announced the intention to redirect staff interested in a new project towards “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”

President Trump endorsed a bill on Aug. 2, 2017 that would reduce the number of family members that American citizens and legal residents could sponsor for eligibility to relocate to the United States. The bill, co-authored by Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, would also slash legal immigration by half and would prioritize English-speaking immigrants as well as highly skilled workers.  

On Aug. 5, 2017, an explosive device was thrown at Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Centre in Bloomington, Minn. President Trump appears never to have publicly commented on the attack. Reporters questioned Trump staffer Sebastian Gorka about Trump’s silence on Aug. 9, to which Gorka replied inaccurately:

We’ve had a series of crimes committed — alleged hate crimes by right-wing individuals in the last six months — that turned out to actually have been propagated by the left. So let’s wait and see, let’s allow the local authorities to provide their assessments, and then the White House will make its comments.

Federal prosecutors eventually charged three white men from rural Illinois in the bombing, as part of a crime spree that also included the robbery of a victim that the men believed to be a drug dealer of Latino descent. One of the men charged was the owner of a company that submitted a bid to build President Trump’s border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Charlottesville

On the night of Friday, Aug. 11, as many as 250 white supremacists marched on the campus of the University of Virginia. Carrying torches, they chanted, “Blood and soil!” “You will not replace us!” “Jews will not replace us!” and “White lives matter!”

The march ended in violent clashes with counter-protesters, and continued into the next day, with violence escalating. That afternoon, white supremacist rallygoer and Nazi sympathizer James Alex Fields Jr. roared his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.

President Trump first spoke of the clashes on Aug. 12, about two hours following the vehicular attack that killed Heyer.

"We all must be united and condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let's come together as one!" Trump said in the only comments by a national political figure to blame “many sides.” "We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides."

An unnamed White House official was credited with this statement on Aug. 13 following Trump’s Aug. 12 comments:

The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry, and hatred and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, nephew-nazi and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.

Trump issued a brief statement to reporters from the White House on Aug. 14, saying:

Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.

However, the next day he defended the original rally, stating, “You had people in that group who were protesting the taking down of what to them is a very, very important statue … . You're changing history; you're changing culture.”

Trump continued, again placing blame on the counter-protesters:

I think there's blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it. You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. No one wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now: You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.

On Aug. 17, Trump took his self-defense to Twitter, saying:

Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You.....

...can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also...

...the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!

In an Aug. 22 interview with Matt Lauer on the Today Show, Vice President Mike Pence defended Trump and his comments:

I know this president. I know his heart ... . I heard it. I heard him on the day that the Charlottesville tragedy happened when he denounced hate and violence in all of its forms from wherever it comes. I heard him on that Monday, and I heard him as well on Tuesday like millions of Americans did where he condemned the hate and the bigotry that was evidenced there. He condemned the violence that was there, and we'll continue to do that. We understand that criticism comes with this job, and this president has the kind of broad shoulders to be able to take it.

Also on Aug. 22, Trump himself defended his comments at a rally in Phoenix, Ariz.:

Does anybody want George Washington's statue [taken down]? No. Is that sad, is that sad? To Lincoln to Teddy Roosevelt. I see they want to take Teddy Roosevelt's down too. They're trying to figure out why, they don't know. They're trying to take away our culture, they're trying to take away our history. And our weak leaders, they do it overnight.

Also at that rally, Trump referenced former CNN contributor Jeffrey Lord, who was fired for tweeting the Nazi salute “Sieg Heil” at a progressive advocate.

“Poor Jeffrey,” Trump said. “I guess he was getting a little bit fed up and was probably fighting back too hard and they said, ‘We gotta get out of here.’”

After Charlottesville

Complementing a White House statement, on Aug. 25, 2017, Trump announced via tweet:

I am pleased to inform you that I have just granted a full Pardon to 85 year old American patriot Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He kept Arizona safe!

Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for refusing to comply with court orders that Maricopa County cease its racial profiling practices.

On Aug. 28, 2017, Attorney General Sessions announced the reversal of an Obama-era ban on transferring military equipment to local police. The restrictions were initiated in 2015 following police use of military-style hardware in confronting protesters over the death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Brown, who was black, was unarmed when a white police officer shot and killed him.

In announcing the policy change, Sessions said before a Fraternal Order of Police conference in Nashville, Tenn.:

The executive order the president will sign today will ensure that you can get the lifesaving gear that you need to do your job and send a strong message that we will not allow criminal activity, violence and lawlessness to become the new normal.

In a notice published to the Federal Register, DHS Acting Director Elaine Duke determined that construction of a new southern border wall section in California could bypass 14 environmental regulations in addition to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.

On Sept. 15, 2017, Trump kicked off a feud with sports commentator Jemele Hill, who is black. Seemingly in reaction to Hill’s tweets earlier that week arguing that Trump is “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists, Trump tweeted, "ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth!"

Asked about Hill’s tweets, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “I think that’s one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make, and certainly something that I think is a fireable offense by ESPN.”

Trump later tweeted: "With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have ‘tanked,’ in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!"

Also on Sept. 15, 2017, Attorney General Sessions scaled back on the DOJ’s efforts to reform local police departments after controversies like officer-involved shootings. “Changes to this program will fulfill my commitment to respect local control and accountability, while still delivering important tailored resources to local law enforcement to fight violent crime,” Sessions said. The announcement came amid protests in St. Louis following the acquittal of white former police officer Jason Stockley in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black. Highly critical reactions to Sessions’ announcement were issued by the Congressional Black Caucus and criminal justice reform advocates.

On Sept. 26, 2017, President Trump issued a presidential determination that the number of refugees permitted into the U.S. annually would be capped at 45,000. That number is a new low, with President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 cap of 67,000 the prior record low. The prior year, under President Obama, the limit was 110,000.

Behind the scenes, the New York Times reported that immigration hardliner Stephen Miller was instrumental in the dramatic reduction in refugee admissions, as were fiscal arguments lacking any evidence:

Mr. Miller and other advocates of reducing refugee admissions had worked for months to justify doing so, even rejecting internal government research that found that refugees have a positive impact on the nation’s fiscal condition. Instead, they argued that vetting refugees to insure they do not pose a terrorism threat and adjudicating their resettlement applications are too costly and burdensome, and that once in the United States, they become a drain on American resources that could be better spent assisting persecuted people closer to their home countries.

Refugee resettlement groups say there is no evidence to support such concerns.

Two weeks after the Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on Sept. 16, 2017, President Trump responded to pleading for additional support for the people of Puerto Rico on Twitter from golf courses in New Jersey and New York City.

On Sept. 30, he tweeted:

The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.

...Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They....

...want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.

The following day, Trump tweeted:

We have done a great job with the almost impossible situation in Puerto Rico. Outside of the Fake News or politically motivated ingrates,...

...people are now starting to recognize the amazing work that has been done by FEMA and our great Military. All buildings now inspected.....

...for safety. Thank you to the Governor of P.R. and to all of those who are working so closely with our First Responders. Fantastic job!

Nearly one year later, Puerto Rico had yet to fully recover from Hurricane Maria. As of early August 2018, 1,000 families still lacked electricity. A study since found a death toll of 2,975 after initial reports only acknowledged just 64 deaths.

Reacting to the dramatically increased official death toll on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “The president remains proud of all the work the federal family undertook to help our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.”

Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, took issue with this response from the White House, as well as the federal response to Hurricane Maria, generally:

Shame on President Trump for not even once, not even yesterday, just saying, “Look, I grieve with the people of Puerto Rico.” Shame on him. First of all, he doesn't even take a time of the day to say, “Look, I'm sorry that you people are grieving, I'm sorry that your people died.”

And secondly, what is there to be proud of? Two thousand nine hundred and seventy-five dead? Is that what he’s proud of? Is he proud that maybe this is over now, and he thinks it’s going to go away?

Well it’s not going to go away. We’re going to remember this forever.

This will be a stain in his presidency for as long as he lives. Because rather than coming here to support us, he came here to throw paper towels at us, and we will never forget and we will always remember.

Terminations of Temporary Protective Status

In directives by DHS Acting Secretary Elaine Duke, the Trump administration began rescinding Temporary Protective Status for an array of refugees of dire circumstances in their home countries on Sept. 1, 2017, and continuing through at least May 5, 2018:

  • Sudanese people: 1,000 allowed to live and work in the U.S. since 1997 amid armed conflict. (Sept. 1, 2017)

  • Nicaraguan people: 2,500 allowed to live and work in the U.S. since a 1999 hurricane. (Nov. 5, 2017)

  • Haitian people: 59,000 allowed to live and work in the U.S. since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. (Nov. 20, 2017)

  • Salvadoran people: 200,000 allowed to live and work in the U.S. since the 2001 earthquake in El Salvador. (Jan. 10, 2018)

  • Nepalese people: 9,000 allowed to live and work in the U.S. since the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. (April 26, 2018)

  • Honduran people: 57,000 allowed to live and work in the U.S. since a 1999 hurricane. (May 5, 2018) 

2017 NFL Anthem Protests

At a rally in Huntsville, Ala. on Sept. 22, 2017, President Trump launched into his feud with mostly black National Football League (NFL) players protesting racism and police brutality during the national anthem. Trump said:

Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!' You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, 'That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.' And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.

When the NFL ratings are down massively, massively. The NFL ratings are down massively. Now the number one reason happens to be they like watching what’s happening… with yours truly. They like what’s happening. Because you know today if you hit too hard —15 yards! Throw him out of the game! They had that last week. I watched for a couple of minutes. Two guys, just really beautiful tackle. Boom, 15 yards! The referee gets on television, his wife is sitting at home, she’s so proud of him. They’re ruining the game! They’re ruining the game. That’s what they want to do. They want to hit! It is hurting the game.

But you know what’s hurting the game more than that? When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem. The only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium, I guarantee things will stop. Things will stop. Just pick up and leave. Pick up and leave. Not the same game anymore, anyway.

On Sept. 23, 2017, President Trump took his campaign against the NFL and players protesting racism and police brutality to Twitter, saying:

If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect....

...our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do!

Trump continued to criticize players protesting racism and police brutality during an ABC interview on Sept. 24, 2017, saying of protests, “I think it’s very disrespectful to our flag and to our country.” That same day on Twitter, Trump said, “... NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back U.S.” There were also three more related tweets and a retweet that day.

The following day, on Sept. 25, 2017, Trump tweeted, "The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!" There were four more related tweets by the president that day, along with a Trump retweet, saying, “NFLplayer PatTillman joined U.S. Army in 2002. He was killed in action 2004. He fought 4our country/freedom. #StandForOurAnthem #BoycottNFL.”

President Trump continued his campaign against the NFL and players with five different tweets on Sept. 26, 2018.

Then on Sept. 30, 2017, along with a video of mostly white hockey fans standing during the national anthem in advance of a National Hockey League game, Trump tweeted, "19,000 RESPECTING our National Anthem! #StandForOurAnthem🇺🇸" He bolstered that with another attack on NFL players that same day.

On Oct. 1, 2017, President Trump retweeted the since-suspended account @SLandinSoCal as of Aug. 23, 2018, saying, “When you kneel for our #NationalAnthem, you aren't protesting a specific issue, you are protesting our Nation and EVERYTH … ,” according to trumptwitterarchive.com.

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen briefly attended an NFL game in Indianapolis on Oct. 9, 2017, which they promptly left when players kneeled during the national anthem. Pence then tweeted a statement: [emphasis in original]

I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem. At a time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience, now, more than ever, we should rally around our Flag and everything that unites us. While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem. I stand with President Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem.

Trump then tweeted, “I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.”

The president’s son Donald Trump Jr. then tweeted, “Amen. After almost a decade it’s great to have leaders who have pride in our country again.”

That night, President Trump tweeted support for one team owner indicating that he would punish protesting players.

President Trump continued to tweet attacks directed at the league and NFL players protesting racism and police brutality on Oct. 10, Oct. 11, Oct. 18 (twice), and Oct. 23.   

On Nov. 20, 2017, Trump paired two favorite topics: criticism of black celebrities and criticism for protesters of racism and police brutality, tweeting:

Marshawn Lynch of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders stands for the Mexican Anthem and sits down to boos for our National Anthem. Great disrespect! Next time NFL should suspend him for remainder of season. Attendance and ratings way down.

On Nov. 22 and Nov. 28, 2018, President Trump again attacked the league and NFL players protesting racism and police brutality on Twitter.

In a May 24, 2018 Fox & Friends interview, President Trump returned to the issue of predominantly black NFL players protesting racism and police brutality during the pre-game performances of the national anthem, saying:

You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.

The NFL owners did the right thing," in announcing plans to punish players who protested police brutality and racism by kneeling during the National Anthem.

On May 30, 2018, reports emerged that, under deposition, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he had received a phone call from President Trump about the NFL player protests during the national anthem. “This is a very winning, strong issue for me. Tell everybody, you can’t win this one. This one lifts me,” Jones reported Trump saying on the call.

October 2017, Generally

On Oct. 8, 2017, the White House released a list of hard-line immigration principles to guide Congress in addressing DREAMers and immigration, effectively scuttling the process for reform.

“The White House proposals would curb the ability of American citizens to sponsor family members to join them from abroad, upending decades of immigration policy, and put strict new limits on asylum claims,” reported the Los Angeles Times. “The list also includes increased money for border security and mandatory use of the government's E-Verify system for employers to ensure that workers they hire are legal residents.”

Also that day, in a speech at the Heritage Foundation, Acting Director of ICE Thomas Homan disclosed that he had ordered his agency to quadruple or quintuple workplace raids.

On Oct. 12, 2017, in a speech at DOJ's Executive Office for Immigration Review, Attorney General Sessions argued for tightening rules for people seeking asylum:

The system is being gamed. Over the years, smart attorneys have exploited loopholes in the law, court rulings and lack of resources to substantially undermine the intent of Congress … . There is no cost or risk for those who make a baseless asylum claim.

On Oct. 18, 2017, Rep. Frederica Wilson said that, on a condolence call she was on between President Trump and Myesha Johnson, the black widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, a black U.S. soldier recently killed in Niger, Trump showed “no sympathy,” saying to the widow, “he knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt.” Trump denied the accusation, while Cowanda Jones-Johnson, a family member who raised Johnson and was in the car with Johnson’s widow during the call, described Wilson’s account as “very accurate.”

On an Oct. 30, 2017 segment with Laura Ingraham of Fox News, now-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly appeared to valorize Robert E. Lee and minimize the role of slavery in the Civil War’s roots.

“I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man,” Kelly said. “He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.” 

November 2017, Generally

On Nov. 1, 2017, President Trump signed the repeal of the rule eliminating forced arbitration. Overturning this rule enables banks, payday lenders and other financial institutions to force victims of fraud and discrimination into forced arbitration, harming consumers and undermining civil rights and consumer protection laws. This will render pursuits against fraud and discrimination financially nonviable where the harm to any one victim is relatively small.

Also on Nov. 1, 2017, President Trump tweeted, “CHAIN MIGRATION must end now! Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil NOT ACCEPTABLE!”

On Nov. 14, 2017, yet another Trump nomination was withdrawn from consideration after racist, sexist and Islamophobic writings came to light.

“Forget for a moment, that this young man from Nigeria purchased his one-way ticket with cash, had no luggage, or that his father had warned the authorities of his radicalism. He should have been on anybody’s no-fly list because his name is UMAR FAROUK ABDULMUTALLAB!” Tim Kelly was found to have written after President Trump tapped him to head the Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education. “Zenaphobic? No, I’m being pragmatic … Instead of assuming that all people are interested in, let alone capable of, blowing up Western, Christian, or Jewish things, let’s assume all Muslims are.”

The following day, on Nov. 15, 2017, Trump judicial nominee Thomas Farr faced charges of racism. A witness countered Farr’s testimony that he did not know of a Republican postcard campaign to suppress black votes in 1990. Farr’s nomination to the Eastern District of North Carolina has since been returned to the White House by the Senate.

On Nov. 16, 2017, the Republican majority of the FCC voted three-to-two to scale back the federal Lifeline program that permits low-income households a $9.25 monthly subsidy for internet or phone service.

“Americans with incomes at or near federal poverty guidelines are eligible for Lifeline. People in Tribal areas are given greater support, with an additional $25 monthly subsidy that brings the total to $34.25,” reported Ars Technica. “Tribal residents also got bad news from the FCC today. The $25 enhanced subsidy can no longer be obtained through resellers … . The FCC also eliminated the $25 extra subsidy for Tribal residents who live in urban areas.”

On Nov. 17, 2017, appointee Rev. Jamie Johnson of the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships, resigned after prior derogatory remarks cames to light. On conservative talk shows, he had identified “radical Islam” as “obedient Islam,” agreeing with Dinesh D’Souza that “all Islam has given us is oil and dead bodies over the last millennia and a half.” He was also found to have blamed black people for “slums,” as a result of their “laziness, drug use and sexual promiscuity.”

On Nov. 19, 2017, President Trump again took to Twitter to attack black athletes, this time targeting UCLA basketball players and one of their fathers. "Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!" Trump tweeted.

On Nov. 20, 2017, the DOJ announced millions of dollars in grants as incentives for local law enforcement to report undocumented immigrants and a cudgel against sanctuary cities.

At a White House event honoring Native American veterans on Nov. 27, 2017, Trump seemed unable to make a derisive aside about the heritage of Senator Elizabeth Warren, saying, "You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas."

On Nov. 29, 2017, President Trump retweeted three Islamophobic videos from a British far-right account rife with anti-Muslim content. “The videos, posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, a far-right and ultra-nationalist political group, depict purported Muslims assaulting people and, in one video, smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary,” CNN reported.

Asked about the videos, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the president’s tweet, saying, "I'm not talking about the nature of the video. I think you're focusing on the wrong thing. What he's done is elevate the conversation to talk about a real issue and a real threat.”

December 2017, Generally

The nation's immigration system "allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country," Trump said after an averted Dec. 12, 2017 terrorist attack in New York City. He added that the family-based method that brought the suspect to the US "incompatible with national security."

That same day, Trump endorsed Islamophobic and racist Senate candidate in Alabama Roy Moore, tweeting, "The people of Alabama will do the right thing. Doug Jones is Pro-Abortion, weak on Crime, Military and Illegal Immigration, Bad for Gun Owners and Veterans and against the WALL. Jones is a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet. Roy Moore will always vote with us. VOTE ROY MOORE!"

Moore had referred to Native Americans and Asian Americans as “reds and yellows” at a September 2017 campaign rally where he also spoke admiringly of the Antebellum South. He also wrote an op-ed saying that Muslims like Keith Ellison should be barred from Congress.

In a Dec. 12, 2017 letter from Arthur Gary of the DOJ to the head of the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau, the case is made for a question on the 2020 census about citizenship. It would be “a move that observers say could depress participation by immigrants who fear that the government could use the information against them,” according to ProPublica. “That, in turn, could have potentially large ripple effects for everything the once-a-decade census determines — from how congressional seats are distributed around the country to where hundreds of billions of federal dollars are spent.” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross issued a March 26, 2018 memo directing the Census Bureau to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census.

On Dec. 13, 2017, the DOJ filed a motion to vacate the conviction of Sherrif Joe Arpaio for contempt of court.

Also on Dec. 13, 2017, judicial nominee Brett Talley withdrew from consideration for the Middle District of Alabama. Talley was the third judicial nominee in nearly 30 years to receive a unanimous rating from the American Bar Association of “not qualified.” His personal blogging includes a piece following the 2016 election in which is scoffs at the notion of racism playing a role in the election results.

Outgoing White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman, who is black, provided ABC News’ “Nightline” an interview on Dec. 14, 2017, saying, “It has been very, very challenging being the only African-American woman in the senior staff.” She continued:

Donald Trump is racial, but he is not a racist. The things that he says, the types of pushback that he gives, involve people of color. These are racial exchanges. Yes, I will acknowledge many of the exchanges—particularly in the last six months—have been racially charged. Do we then just stop and label him as a racist? No.

On Dec. 15, 2018, policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were told of the list of forbidden words according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing, including "diversity."

Also on Dec. 15, 2017, DHS announced plans to revoke work permission for spouses of H1-B visa holder.

January 2018, Generally

Acting head of ICE Thomas Homan said during a Jan. 2, 2018 interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that the DOJ needs "to file charges against the sanctuary cities" and "hold back their funding." Homan went on to say that politicians enforcing sanctuary city policies need to be held "personally accountable."

"We gotta take [sanctuary cities] to court, and we gotta start charging some of these politicians with crimes," he said.

On Jan. 4, 2018, Attorney General Sessions rescinded the Obama-era memos that adopted a policy of non-interference with marijuana-friendly state laws, effectively unleashing federal prosecutors to crack down on pot-related crimes even where they are legal under state law. Marijuana offenses are the source of some of the starkest racial disparities in the justice system.

During a Jan. 7, 2018 interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, domestic policy advisor and reported architect of Trump’s immigration policy Stephen Miller said that people are “getting slaughtered in sanctuary cities.”

In a Jan. 11, 2018 White House meeting on immigration, Trump said of predominantly black countries, "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?"

“Trump then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries such as Norway, whose prime minister he met with Wednesday,” the Washington Post reported. “The president, according to a White House official, also suggested he would be open to more immigrants from Asian countries because he felt that they help the United States economically.”

In a Jan. 11, 2018 letter to state Medicaid administrators, Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Brian Neale announced new guidelines that allow states to apply for waivers to implement work requirements to receive Medicaid. The guidelines are anticipated to have a disproportionate impact on people of color. Approval of Kentucky’s waiver to implement a Medicaid work requirement by Director of the Center for Medicaid and Medical Services Seema Verma the very next day exempted the state’s southeastern counties that are over 90 percent white, while ensuring that the rollout will begin in Kentucky’s predominantly black counties.

At a Jan. 13, 2018 White House intelligence briefing on Pakistan, “Trump asked the analyst where she was from, to which she said New York City. Trump reportedly pressed, asking where ‘your people’ were from,” reported the Guardian. “The analyst said her parents were Korean, leading Trump to ask an adviser why the ‘pretty Korean lady’ was not involved in negotiations with nuclear-armed North Korea.”

On Jan. 16, 2018, "Senator Patrick Leahy was questioning [DHS Director Kirstjen] Nielsen about a meeting she attended in the Oval Office last week where President Donald Trump reportedly labeled Haiti and nations in Africa as ‘shithole’ countries and said the U.S. should be bringing people from Norway to the U.S. instead,” Newsweek reported. “Leahy asked Nielsen whether Norway was a predominantly white country.”

“I actually do not know that, sir,” Nielsen said. “But I imagine that is the case.”

Nielsen further explained that the president used Norway because he believes that Norwegians "work very hard.”. Nielsen said Trump would welcome hard-working immigrants who “assimilate.”

On Jan. 18, 2018, one week following the president including Haiti in a list of “shithole countries,” DHS announced that it will block Haitian people from receiving agricultural or seasonal visas.

On Jan. 23, 2018, the White House welcome a visit by staff of ProEnglish, a hate group as determined by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group boasted of a second White House meeting on Feb. 13, 2018 about reducing funding for translation services and making English the official language of the United States.

Also on Jan. 23, 2018, President Trump nominated Wendy Vitter to U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. At her confirmation hearing, Vitter refused to say whether she agreed with the decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which required the desegregation of public schools. Vitter’s nomination is still pending before the Senate.

On Jan. 24, 2018, Attorney General Sessions threatened sanctuary cities with subpoenas. "I continue to urge all jurisdictions under review to reconsider policies that place the safety of their communities and their residents at risk," Sessions said a written statement blaming immigrants for crime. "Protecting criminal aliens from federal immigration authorities defies common sense and undermines the rule of law."

On Jan. 28, 2018, Trump tweeted, “Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!” 

February 2018, Generally

On Feb. 1, 2018, President Trump nominated Ken Isaacs to run the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations’ migration agency. Isaacs was then found to have an extensive history of troubling tweets, including conspiracy theories, racism, Islamophobia, climate change denial and anti-refugee sentiments. In a rare repudiation of United States leadership, the United Nations rejected Isaacs’ nomination on June 29, 2018.

Also on Feb. 1, 2018, Acting Director Mick Mulvaney effectively gutted the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by folding it into the office of the director.

On Feb. 5, 2018, Foreign Policy reported:

A Department of Homeland Security draft report from late January called on authorities to continuously vet Sunni Muslim immigrants deemed to have “at-risk” demographic profiles.

[The report] looks at 25 terrorist attacks in the United States between October 2001 and December 2017, concluding there would be “great value for the United States Government in dedicating resources to continuously evaluate persons of interest” and suggesting that immigrants to the United States be tracked on a “long-term basis.”

If the report’s recommendations were implemented, it would represent a vast expansion of the Trump administration’s policies aimed at many Muslim immigrants, extending vetting from those trying to enter the United States to those already legally in the country, including permanent residents.

In a Feb. 6, 2018 interview with reporters, Chief of Staff John Kelly was asked about immigration legislation proposed by President Trump which would create a path to citizenship for DREAMers in exchange for funding the southern border wall. Kelly said that some DREAMers are "too lazy to get off their asses" and register for government protections.

On Feb. 8, 2018, the Trump administration proposed changes that would allow the federal government to take into account use of Medicaid, CHIP, subsidies for Marketplace coverage, and other health, nutrition, and non-cash programs when making determinations someone’s immigration status. This policy reinforces the long-held myth that immigrants are a burden on society, when in fact low-income immigrants with less than a high school education are the least likely demographic group to receive government benefits. The Kaiser Family Foundation concluded, “These changes would likely lead to decreased participation in Medicaid, CHIP, Marketplace coverage, and other programs among legal immigrants and their citizen children, even though they would remain eligible.”

Also on Feb. 8, 2018, ICE issued its Fiscal Year 2017 Enforcement and Removal Operations report, showing a dramatic uptick in civil immigration arrests since Trump took office. “ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations made a total of 143,470 arrests in fiscal 2017, a 30% rise from fiscal 2016,” the Pew Research Center found. “The surge began after President Donald Trump took office in late January: From his Jan. 20 inauguration to the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, ICE made 110,568 arrests, 42% more than in the same time period in 2016.” A precursor to the Trump Administration’s policy of family separation at the border, this policy targeted many individuals with U.S.-born children who were separated from those children as a result of their detention and deportation.

On Feb. 12, 2018, President Trump's nominee to be Deputy Director of U.S. Census Bureau Thomas Brunell withdrew from consideration. Brunell’s nomination drew concern from civil and voting rights advocates due to his history of defending voter suppression and racial gerrymandering.

On Feb. 14, 2018, the State Department ordered the shuttering of more than 20 offices related to refugee admissions and cutting operations at more than 40 other related offices. “The slated closures, which are being reviewed by the State Department for final approval, follow President Donald Trump’s decision to dramatically reduce the number of refugees that will be allowed into the United States in 2018,” Reuters reported. “The State Department has said the drop in refugee numbers, from the 110,000 ceiling set by the Obama administration to 45,000 for 2018, means the country no longer needs all of the 324 resettlement offices that were operating at the end of 2017. This year’s cap on refugees is the lowest since 1980.”

On Feb. 20, 2018, HHS placed Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration Jon Cordova on administrative leave during an investigation into his social media posts in which he pushed unfounded conspiracy theories. CNN reported that in one such post, “Cordova shared a story that asserted without evidence that Khan, who spoke out against Trump at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, was a ‘Muslim Brotherhood agent’ and ‘a Muslim plant working with the Hillary Clinton campaign.’”

On Feb. 23, 2018, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services updated its mission statement, striking the phrase "nation of immigrants." Instead, the agency’s new mission statement emphasizes "safeguarding its integrity" and "securing the homeland."

At the Conservative Political Action Conference, President Trump spoke on Feb. 23, 2018, Vox reported:

When I walked in today, did anyone ever hear me do the snake during the campaign? Because I had five people outside say, could you do the snake? I said, well, people have heard it. Who hasn’t heard the snake? You should read it anyway. Let’s do it anyway. I’ll do it. Okay. Should we do it?

After reminding the crowd multiple times to think of it in terms of immigration — in case the subtext might have gotten missed — he recited it to applause:

"I saved you, cried the woman. And you’ve bitten me, heavens why? You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die. Oh, shut up, silly woman, said the reptile with a grin. You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in. [ Applause ] And that’s what we’re doing with our country, folks. We’re letting people in. And it is going to be a lot of trouble. It is only getting worse."

In that same speech, then the next day on Feb. 24, 2018 in a Fox News interview with Jeanine Pirro, Trump displayed a misunderstanding about how the diversity visa lottery works, calling for a system “based on merit.”  

March 2018, Generally

On March 1, 2018, President Trump nominated David Otis to the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The nomination remains pending before the Senate. NPR reported that Otis “has publicly called to abolish that agency … and has a history of making racially charged remarks about crime.”

On March 5, 2018, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) changed its mission statement to remove reference to "inclusive" communities "free from discrimination."

The DOJ filed suit against the state of California on March 6, 2018 over sanctuary policies that limit the use of state resources to enforce federal immigration laws.

On March 8, President Trump elevated another critic of refugee admissions. Politico reported:

A White House aide close to senior policy adviser Stephen Miller who has advocated strict limits on immigration into the U.S. has been selected for a top State Department post overseeing refugee admissions, according to current and former officials.

Andrew Veprek’s appointment as a deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) is alarming pro-immigration activists who fear that President Donald Trump is trying to effectively end the U.S. refugee resettlement program.

Current and former officials also describe Veprek’s appointment as a blow to an already-embattled refugee bureau.

From that perch, Veprek sought to gut a United Nations document critical of racism, nationalism and xenophobia, CNN reported on June 29, 2018.

Up to March 8, 2018, the Trump administration was found to have dramatically reduced the number of civil rights compliance reviews initiated by the Department of Education. During that 13-month period, only two such reviews were opened by the Trump administration, both related to students with disabilities. During the same period of time during the Obama administration, 15 compliance reviews were opened.

In a March 10, 2018 speech to France’s far-right Front National, former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon said:

You fight for your country and they call you racist. But the days when those kind of insults work is over. The establishment media are the dogs of the system. Every day, we become stronger and they become weaker. Let them call you racists, xenophobes or whatever else, wear these like a medal.

On March 12, 2018, Attorney General Sessions announced that the DOJ would prioritize school safety funding for states welcoming more police officers onto public school grounds, despite the fact that black students are 37 percent more likely to be arrested by campus police, fueling the school-to-prison pipeline.

Also on March 12, 2018, the Department of Education proposed the repeal of "Rethinking Discipline," a 2014 guidance for schools from the Department of Education created to promote equity in how students experience disciplinary actions and prevent disparities based on race and ability.

On March 13, 2018, Trump tweeted the following, citing a study from the Center for Immigration Studies, designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group:

'According to the Center for Immigration Studies, the $18 billion wall will pay for itself by curbing the importation of crime, drugs and illegal immigrants who tend to go on the federal dole...'

[Quote-tweeting @FoxNews: “Study: Trump’s Border Wall Could Pay for Itself by Cutting Welfare to Illegal Immigrants http://insider.foxnews.com/2018/03/12/cutting-welfare-illegal-immigrants-would-pay-trump%E2%80%99s-border-wall-study]

"California’s sanctuary policies are illegal and unconstitutional and put the safety and security of our entire nation at risk. Thousands of dangerous & violent criminal aliens are released as a result of sanctuary policies, set free to prey on innocent Americans. THIS MUST STOP!"

At a March 19, 2018 rally in Manchester, N.H., Trump proposed the expansion of the death penalty’s application for repeat drug dealers, catching flak from people aware of how disproportionately people of color are sentenced to death in the United States.

Long a policy on the wishlist of the Center for Immigration Studies, designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, on March 28, 2018, the DHS Agency of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services proposed denying legal residency to any immigrants found to have accessed any welfare or public benefit, including popular tax deductions. 

April 2018, Generally

On April 4, 2018, former Trump campaign staffer Todd Johnson resigned from an appointed position at the Department of Defense following media inquiries about past social media posts endorsing birtherism, claiming that Barack Obama was the Antichrist and stating that Obama’s “being a Muslim” automatically made him crazy.

At a tax reform event in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., President Trump said of migrant caravans coming from Central America:

Yesterday, it came out where this journey coming up, women are raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before. They don't want to mention that, so we have to change our laws.

Remember my [2016 campaign kickoff] opening remarks at Trump Tower … . Everybody said, 'Oh, he was so tough.' I used the word 'rape.’”

On April 6, a pair of President Trump’s high-profile nominations drew scrutiny for Islamophobic ties: John Bolton for national security advisor and Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State. The New York Times reported:

Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo both have ties to individuals and groups promoting a worldview that regards Islam not so much as a religion, but as a political ideology that is infiltrating the United States and other Western countries with the goal of imposing Shariah law, the Muslim legal code. These groups believe that the vehicle for this takeover is the Muslim Brotherhood, and they allege that American mosques, civic organizations and leaders and even government officials who are Muslims are suspected of being Muslim Brotherhood operatives.

On April 13, 2018, the Kansas City Star reported on an uptick in on-criminal immigrant detentions by ICE.

At an April 19, 2018 inter-agency task force address in Key West, Fla., President Trump said:

The drugs are a big factor, but you look at -- human trafficking is worse than it’s ever been in the history of this world. And who would think in this modern-day age?

“The assertion, which Trump has made previously, prompted criticism from some that he was ignoring the centuries-old, transatlantic slave trade and his nation’s own history of forcing hundreds of thousands of people into bondage,” USA Today reported.

On April 23, 2018, CPB was found to have falsified data showing a 73-percent increase in assaults on its officers in 2016.

At an April 28, 2018 rally in Washington, Mich., Trump asked, “Are there any Hispanics in the room?” to which the crowd responded with boos. “Not so many?” Trump said. “That’s okay … and in fairness, Kanye West gets it!”

May 2018, Generally

On May 1, 2018, one-time Acting Director of ICE, then Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director of ICE, Thomas Homan announced that he would step down and withdrew from consideration for the long-term directorship. Homan was nominated on Nov. 14, 2017, and the nomination was left pending in the Senate, with Democrats raising questions about whether the administration feared exposing Homan to prodding questions by opponents of his nomination. Homan stirred controversy with his hardline, anti-immigrant statements and positions detailed above and oversaw a dramatic increase in immigration arrests during his tenure. Before he stepped down in June, he participated in a June 5, 2018 National Press Club event hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies, an anti-immigrant group designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

At a May 1, 2018 rally in Phoenix, Ariz., Vice President Pence hailed Sheriff Joe Arpaio as a “tireless champion of strong borders and the rule of law,” without mentioning Arpaio’s conviction for contempt.

On May 10, 2018, HUD announced the reconsideration of a 2013 rule that laid out when so-called disparate impact claims can be brought against lenders, insurers and other major players in housing under federal fair housing law, Reuters reported:

Disparate impact is a legal tool that has been used for decades to bring bias lawsuits over actions that have a discriminatory effect even with no evidence of discriminatory intent.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 ruling that such claims can be brought under the Fair Housing Act, a landmark civil rights law prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, sex or national origin. Insurance companies in particular have fought its application to their industry.

On May 11, 2018, President Trump established a presidential commission on election fraud. Critics like Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, saw racial animus behind creation of the commission. The commission was disbanded without a single finding of voter fraud.

During a May 17, 2018 immigration round-table, President Trump called undocumented immigrants “animals,” answering a sheriff’s complaint about MS-13 gang members:

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.

On May 18, 2018, HUD Director Ben Carson indefinitely suspended implementation of the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule intended to desegregate housing. Then, claiming that the rule was “suffocating” affordable housing development without providing any evidence, HUD declared that they would affirmatively rewrite the rule on Aug. 13, 2018.

On May 21, 2018, the White House doubled down on President Trump’s recent comments about immigrants being “animals,” offered in the context of discussion about MS-13 gang members, issuing a statement headlined, “What You Need to Know About the Violent Animals of MS-13.” The release used the word “animals” nine times after the headline.

Also on May 21, 2018, Dara Lind of Vox reported that Attorney General Sessions’ uptick in referring cases decided by the DOJ’s Board of Immigration Appeals to himself and his office to overrule and rewrite.

At a May 23, 2018 House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos demonstrated “astounding ignorance of the law” related to undocumented students.

“Inside the school,” Rep. Adriano Espaillat asked, “if a principal or a teacher finds out that a certain child is undocumented, or his or her family members are undocumented, do you feel that the principal or teacher is responsible to call ICE and to have that family reported?”

“Sir, I think that’s a school decision,” DeVos responded. “That’s a local community decision. And again, I refer to the fact that we have laws and we also are compassionate, and I urge this body to do its job and address or clarify where there is confusion around this.”

At a May 23, 2018 roundtable at Morrelly Homeland Security Center, Trump again returned to his talking point of calling immigrants and/or gang members “animals.” The Washington Post reported:

“We have the worst immigration laws of any country, anywhere in the world,” Trump said … . “They exploited the loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors.”

Trump added: “They look so innocent. They’re not innocent.”

Trump again called gang members “animals” during Wednesday’s roundtable.

“I called them animals the other day, and I was met with rebuke,” he said. “They said, ‘They’re people.’ They’re not people. These are animals, and we have to be very, very tough.”

In a May 23, 2018 BBC interview, former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon said:

If you look at the policies of Donald Trump, anybody — Martin Luther King — would be proud of him, what he's done for the black and Hispanic community for jobs,” Bannon said. “It’s the lowest unemployment in recorded history. You don't think Martin Luther King would be proud?

Look at the unemployment rate we had five years ago,” he added. “You don’t think Martin Luther King would sit there and go: 'You're putting black men and women to work. Lowest unemployment rate in history, and wages are starting to rise among the working class. And you're finally stopping the illegal alien labor force that's coming in to compete with them every day and destroying the schools and destroying the healthcare.' Absolutely.

Also on May 23, 2018, President Trump’s budget proposed eliminating the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which enforces labor and civil rights laws amongst federal contractors by merging it with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which has a distinct mission.

In a May 24, 2018 interview with Fox & Friends, President Trump took issue with the legal staffing of immigration cases, saying:
How do you hire thousands of people to be a judge? So it's ridiculous, we're going to change the system. We have no choice for the good of our country.

Other countries have what's called security people. People who stand there and say you can't come in. We have thousands of judges and they need thousands of more judges. The whole system is corrupt. It's horrible

Also on May 24, 2018, President Trump signed the new Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, which the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported:

[B]enefits a majority of U.S. banks, which no longer will have to comply with the detailed reporting requirements outlined in the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.

For those banks, the new law means less regulation and oversight.

But fair-housing advocates — especially in cities like St. Louis with a history of redlining and other discriminatory lending practices — say less information means it’ll be harder to identify problems and push for reforms.

...

Research shows that racism in banking practices is still a concern.

Earlier this year, California-based investigative reporting outlet Reveal took a look at Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data and shared it with the Post-Dispatch through the Associated Press. Reveal’s analysis found that African-Americans who apply for conventional mortgage loans are 2.5 times more likely to be denied than non-Hispanic whites, controlling for loan amount, income and neighborhood.

In St. Louis and elsewhere, poor, underserved communities are often those that are majority black because of lingering effects of historical, racist local and federal housing and zoning policies.

Also on May 25, 2018, President Trump nominated Ronald Mortensen as Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. Mortensen is listed as a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a hate group.

At a May 29, 2018 rally in Nashville, Tenn., Trump continued his recent use of the term “animals” to describe gang members of MS-13. "They're not human beings," Trump added, saying that they use "glaring loopholes in our immigration laws" in order "to infiltrate our country" and rape, murder and "cut people up into little pieces."

On May 30, 2018, following an apology by Bob Iger, CEO of ABC’s parent company Disney, for a racist tweet by Roseanne Barr comparing Valerie Jarrett to an ape, Trump tweeted:

Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that “ABC does not tolerate comments like those” made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?

And also on May 30, 2018, National Security Advisor John Bolton selected Fred Fleitz as Executive Secretary and Chief of Staff to the National Security Council. Fleitz was a senior vice president of the Islamophobic Center for Security Policy, identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

On May 31, 2018, President Trump tweeted that he planned to pardon Dinesh D’Souza, who was “treated very unfairly by our government!” D'Souza pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance laws in 2014 after he was indicted earlier that year on charges that he illegally used straw donors to contribute to Republican Senate candidate Wendy Long in New York in 2012, the Washington Post reported.

June 2018, Generally

On June 5, 2018, President Trump tweeted an apparent jab at the NFL for not ending player protests of racism and police brutality.

On June 8, 2018, Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Department of Education Candace Jackson issued instructions to her staff not to investigate systemic issues unless they were specifically raised by the complainant. Those instructions said that, "For the sake of clarity, these instructions mean that [the Office of Civil Rights] will only apply a 'systemic' or class action approach where the individual complaint allegations themselves raise systemic of class wide issues." This has the effect of making the Office of Civil Rights much less aggressive and proactive when it comes to investigations.

On June 13, 2018, President Trump tweeted congratulations and his apparent endorsement of racist candidate for a Senate seat from Virginia Corey Stewart. At the Old South Ball in Danville, Virginia on April 7, 2018, Stewart proclaimed, "It's the state of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. That is our heritage. It is what makes us Virginia."

Stewart also claimed that the Confederate flag was totally unrelated to racism or slavery. "I'm proud to be next to the Confederate flag," Stewart said. "That flag is not about racism, folks, it's not about hatred, it's not about slavery. It's about our heritage. It's time that we stop running away from our heritage." On Dec. 8, 2017, Stewart tweeted, @TheDemocrats got cocky forging @BarackObama birth certificate. Thought they could slip phony #AllredYearbookFraud by on @MooreSenate. Sad!! #ALSEN #alpolitics." And after Stewart took his seat as chair in 2007, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution designed to purge the county of undocumented immigrants; the new law allowed the Prince William County Police Department to check the immigration status of anyone, even if they were not suspected of wrongdoing. Additionally, the Board directed county staff to cut off public services to illegal immigrants, including drug counseling, elderly services, services to the homeless, and business licenses.

Also on June 13, 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director L. Francis Cissna announced the creation of a new office with the purpose of reporting “citizenship fraud” to the DOJ.

In a sweeping enforcement effort in the Los Angeles area, which ICE celebrated on June 14, 2018 for including 162 arrests, ICE arrested 62-year-old Jose Luis Garcia outside of his house. Garcia is a Mexican immigrant who has been a legal U.S. resident since the 1980s, according to his family. Authorities told his daughter that they had a warrant for Garcia’s arrest related to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge that was resolved nearly two decades ago. Garcia, who has high blood pressure and diabetes, was detained for 19 days, including over Father’s Day. A judge ruled he should never have been detained.

On June 19, 2018, Trump tweeted:

Democrats are the problem. They don’t care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our Country, like MS-13. They can’t win on their terrible policies, so they view them as potential voters!

On June 21, 2018, Education Secretary DeVos was found by ProPublica to have “scuttled” more than 1,200 civil rights investigations initiated under President Obama, foten for “insufficient evidence.” The cases included “complaints of civil rights violations ranging from discriminatory discipline to sexual violence in school districts and colleges around the country.”

At a June 22, 2018 press conference elevating the stories of family members who lost loved ones to violence committed by undocumented immigrants, President Trump autographed 11 large photos of those lost loved ones.

On a June 24, 2018 Fox & Friends segment where he was debating Democratic strategist Joel Payne, who is black, about whether accusations that the Trump administration was racist were meritorious, former Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie, who is white, told Payne, “You’re out of your cotton-picking mind.”

On June 25, 2018, Trump tweeted:

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!

 July 2018, Generally

On July 3, 2018, Secretary of Education DeVos and Attorney General Sessions issued a joint letter rescinding seven Obama-era guidelines on affirmative action.

At July 5, 2018 rally in Great Falls, Mont., the Washington Post reported that:

Calling [Senator Elizabeth] Warren "Pocahontas," Trump imagined himself sparring with Warren on the debate stage and told the crowd that he would toss her a DNA kit, “but we have to do it gently because we’re in the #MeToo generation, so we have to be very gentle.”

He then made a throwing motion and said that “we will very gently take that kit, and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn’t hit her and injure her arm.”

In that same July 5, 2018 rally in Great Falls, Mont., Trump mentioned his prior attacks on the Representative Maxine Waters as a “low-IQ individual,” adding his assessment, “I mean, honestly, she’s somewhere in the mid-60s, I believe.”

On July 6, the Associated Press uncovered allegations of the US. Army abruptly discharging reservists and recruits once promised a path to citizenship through their service:

The AP was unable to quantify how many men and women who enlisted through the special recruitment program have been booted from the Army, but immigration attorneys say they know of more than 40 who have been discharged or whose status has become questionable, jeopardizing their futures.

On July 9, 2018, President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, drawing swift criticism from civil rights organizations critical of of Kavanaugh’s record on matters related to race.

On July 10, 2018, President Trump pardoned Dwight and Steven Hammond, who were convicted for activities related to the Bundy Standoff with federal authorities during the Obama presidency, which took on racist overtones when leader Cliven Bundy wondered aloud to a New York Times reporter whether black people would be better off enslaved.

On July 13, 2018, President Trump endorsed a racist candidate for running for reelection to Congress from Florida. Congressman Matt Gaetz invited an infamous alt-right activist, racist and troll, Chuck Johnson, to the 2018 State of the Union address. Johnson was banned from Twitter for soliciting donations to “take out” Black Lives Matter activist Deray McKesson. Gaetz also once tweeted that a court filing bearing typos looked like it was drafted by two of his black colleagues in the Florida state house.

On July 14, 2018, the White House Council of Economic Advisors published a report in favor of expanding work requirements for recipients of food stamps, Medicaid and housing subsidies with a novel argument: We should scale back the War on Poverty because it worked. Their report read:

Over the past 54 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration of a War on Poverty, federal spending on welfare programs targeting low-income households has grown dramatically, contributing to a substantial reduction in material hardship.

None of these statistics is intended to deny the ways in which millions of Americans sometimes struggle to make ends meet, [but] the vast majority of Americans are able to meet their basic human needs.

On July 18, 2018, President Trump endorsed immigration hardliner Brian Kemp for governor of Georgia against Stacey Abrams, who would be the first black woman governor in the United States. In his endorsement message on Twitter, Trump referenced Kemp’s hardline position on “illegal immigration.” The endorsement arrived just over two months after Kemp’s campaign began running a television ad in which the candidate says, “I got a big truck, just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take ‘em home myself. Yep, I just said that.”

On July 19, 2018, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that President Trump’s nomination of Ryan Wesley Bounds to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals would be withdrawn after Republican Senator Tim Scott, who is black, announced that he could not support the nomination over past racist writings, depriving the nomination of a crucial vote of support. Bounds’ nomination initially drew scrutiny from both of the nominees’ home state Senators, who refused to return the Senate blue slips in favor of his consideration.

The nomination, initially made on Sept. 7, 2017, was then returned to the Senate on Jan. 3, 2018. Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley persisted in their refusal to return the related blue slips, citing Bounds’ college writings hostile to people of color, among others. In college, Bounds wrote, “Race-focused groups foster racethink, and the only way to rid our multicultural community of race-think is to rid it of these invidious factions." He also wrote, "The opponent is the white male and his coterie of meanspirited lackeys: ‘oreos,’ ‘twinkies,’ ‘coconuts,’ and the like … . He enjoys making money and buying material things, just to make sure people with darker skin don’t have access to them. He enjoys killing children and revels in the death of minorities (if you are white, male, and pro-choice, for instance, it is often ascribed to your desire for poor black and Hispanic women to abort their children as frequently as possible).”

On July 20, 2018, President Trump renewed his attacks on predominantly black NFL players protesting racism and police brutality, tweeting:

The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again - can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!

On July 25, 2018, DOJ public information officers were directed in an internal email to forego the term “undocumented” immigrants, and to favor “illegal alien.”

On July 29, 2018, President Trump threatened a government shutdown if Congress refused to fund a southern border wall, tweeting:

I would be willing to ‘shut down’ government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!

Please understand, there are consequences when people cross our Border illegally, whether they have children or not - and many are just using children for their own sinister purposes. Congress must act on fixing the DUMBEST & WORST immigration laws anywhere in the world! Vote “R”

Family Separations

With limiting immigration a top priority of the Trump administration, family separations and a “zero tolerance policy” came under discussion in the earliest days of Trump’s presidency. Once public, family separations were relatively quickly halted amid public outcry. As of August 2018, hundreds of children remain separated from their families as a result of the policy and how it was implemented.

Family Separations Under Discussion

Trump administration begins internally discussing family separations policy to deter asylum seekers in February 2017.

Then-DHS Director John Kelly said that DHS was considering family separations on March 7, 2017, saying:

We have tremendous experience of dealing with unaccompanied minors. We turn them over to (Health and Human Services) and they do a very, very good job of putting them in foster care or linking them up with parents or family members in the United States.

On March 30, 2017, then-DHS Director John Kelly says that DHS will not separate families at the border.

On April 5, 2017, the Trump administration said that family separations were no longer under consideration, according to DHS spokesperson David Laplan.

In June 2017, the Trump administration shuttered a program to keep families with children out of immigration detention.

On Nov. 25, 2017, the Houston Chronicle identified 22 cases of family separations at the southern border since June.

In December 2017, the Trump administration was reportedly weighing adopting the family separations policy amid a surge of Central American families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Family Separations Escalate

DHS’ family separation policy reported to be underway on Feb. 20, 2018.

Attorney General Sessions orders federal prosecutors to adopt a “zero-tolerance policy” for all immigration offense in an April 6, 2018 memo.

Affidavits filed in federal court on April 23, 2018 as to detention conditions faced by children separated from their families were reported on by Reveal:

Children held at the Shiloh Treatment Center, a government contractor south of Houston that houses immigrant minors, described being held down and injected, according to the federal court filings. The lawsuit alleges that children were told they would not be released or see their parents unless they took medication and that they only were receiving vitamins.

Parents and the children themselves told attorneys the drugs rendered them unable to walk, afraid of people and wanting to sleep constantly, according to affidavits filed April 23 in U.S. District Court in California.

One mother said her child fell repeatedly, hitting her head, and ended up in a wheelchair. A child described trying to open a window and being hurled against a door by a Shiloh supervisor, who then choked her until she fainted.

“The supervisor told me I was going to get a medication injection to calm me down,” the girl said. “Two staff grabbed me, and the doctor gave me the injection despite my objection and left me there on the bed.”

Another child recounted being made to take pills in the morning, at noon and night. The child said “the staff told me that some of the pills are vitamins because they think I need to gain weight. The vitamins changed about two times, and each time I feel different.”

On April 20, 2018, a DHS spokesperson appears to have lied in defending family separations, saying:

As required by law, D.H.S. must protect the best interests of minor children crossing our borders, and occasionally this results in separating children from an adult they are traveling with if we cannot ascertain the parental relationship, or if we think the child is otherwise in danger.

In May 7, 2018 remarks at a gathering of the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies, Attorney General Sessions spoke about the administration’s “zero-tolerance policy” for families crossing the southern border unlawfully:

If you cross the border unlawfully, even a first offense, we're going to prosecute you. If you're smuggling a child, we're going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law. If you don't want your child to be separated, then don't bring them across the border illegally.

In a May 11, 2018 interview with NPR’s John Burnett, when pressed about the administration’s “zero-tolerance policy,” Chief of Staff John Kelly somewhat incorrectly said of undocumented immigrants:

Let me step back and tell you that the vast majority of the people that move illegally into United States are not bad people. They're not criminals. They're not MS13. But they're also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States into our modern society. They're overwhelmingly rural people. In the countries they come from, fourth,- fifth-, sixth-grade educations are kind of the norm. They don't speak English, obviously. That's a big thing. They don't speak English. They don't integrate well. They don't have skills.

On May 15, 2018, DHS Director Nielsen defended the administration’s family separation policy, claiming that the policy was not remarkable.

With the furor over Trump’s family separation policy coming to a boil, on May 27, 2018, President Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump posted a sweet, if potentially tone deaf, picture of herself holding and nuzzling her son on Twitter with the caption, “My ♥️! #SundayMorning.”

In a June 5, 2018 interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Attorney General Sessions said:

If people don’t want to be separated from their children, they should not bring them with them. We’ve got to get this message out. You’re not given immunity.

Also on June 5, 2018, NBC News reported:

Border agents and child welfare workers are running out of space to shelter children who have been separated from their parents at the U.S. border as part of the Trump administration's new "zero tolerance" policy, according to two U.S. officials and a document obtained by NBC News.

As of Sunday, nearly 300 of the 550 children currently in custody at U.S. border stations had spent more than 72 hours there, the time limit for immigrants of any age to be held in the government's temporary facilities. Almost half of those 300 children are younger than 12, according to the document, meaning they are classified by the Department of Homeland Security as "tender age children."

The stations, run by the Border Patrol and meant only as the first stop for children detained at the border, often lack adequate bedding or separate sleeping rooms for children.

With a surge in immigration arrests, officials said on June 7, 2018 that ICE and the DOJ had reached an agreement to house about 1,600 immigration detainees in federal prisons, including asylum seekers.

Between May 5 and June 9, 2018, the Trump administration acknowledges 2,342 children separated from 2,206 parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Criticism of Family Separations Mounting

On June 9, 2018, news emerged that one immigrant father in immigration detention, Marco Antonio Muñoz, killed himself in a Texas jail after being separated from his child at the U.S.-Mexico border .

On June 11, 2018, Attorney General Sessions determined that victims of gang violence and domestic violence were no longer eligible for asylum in the United States. That decision was expected to affect large numbers of people from Central America, and considerable source of the families being separated at the border by U.S. authorities. ICE followed up with new asylum policy in line with Sessions’ determination on July 11, 2018.

Also on June 11, 2018, CPB Commissioner Kevin McAleenan sat down for a lengthy interview with the Los Angeles Times, in which family separations are explained as an incentive to discourage people from crossing the border with children.

On June 16, 2018, President Trump falsely tweeted:

Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change! This is why we need more Republicans elected in November. Democrats are good at only three things, High Taxes, High Crime and Obstruction. Sad!

Also on June 16, 2018, White House domestic policy advisor Stephen Miller told the New York Times, "[Family separation] was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry, period."

On June 17, 2018, DHS Director Nielsen falsely tweeted, “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.”

At a June 18, 2018 press conference, DHS Director Nielsen appeared to lie about the conditions of family members separated by U.S. officials at the southern border:

It is important to note that these minors are very well taken care of. Don’t believe the press. They are very well taken care of. You know this, as many of you have detention facilities of your own. We operate according to some of the highest standards in the country. We provide food, medical, education and all needs that the child requests.

Also on June 18, 2018, the Associated Press described conditions of children separated from their parents by immigration officials:

Inside an old warehouse in South Texas, hundreds of children wait in a series of cages created by metal fencing. One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets.

One teenager told an advocate who visited that she was helping care for a young child she didn’t know because the child’s aunt was somewhere else in the facility. She said she had to show others in her cell how to change the girl’s diaper.

And also on June 18, 2018, the New Yorker uncovered that, as of that point, “No protocols have been put in place for keeping track of parents and children concurrently, for keeping parents and children in contact with each other while they are separated, or for eventually reuniting them.”

On June 19, 2018, Attorney General Sessions defended the Trump administration’s ongoing family separation efforts, according to CNN:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions dismissed comparisons of the detention facilities for migrant children to Nazi concentration camps by arguing that Nazis "were keeping the Jews from leaving the country."

"Well, it's a real exaggeration, of course. In Nazi Germany, they were keeping the Jews from leaving the country," Sessions tried to explain during an interview Monday night with Fox News host Laura Ingraham.

Sessions later [falsely] said if parents are deported, their children return to their home country with them. If the parents claim asylum and stay in the US, Sessions said, their children also stay but in Department of Health and Human Services' custody.

Administration Haltingly Backpedals From Family Separations

On June 20, 2018, President Trump issued an executive order to terminate family separations. The order relies heavily on language like that employed by immigration opponents, including “alien families,” “alien parent,” and “alien child.”

Also on June 20, 2018, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski mocked a child with a disability who was separated from her family at the border, according to the Guardian:

Donald Trump’s former presidential campaign manager has refused to apologize for appearing to dismiss the significance of the removal of a 10-year-old Mexican girl with Down’s syndrome from her mother.

Amid controversy over the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the southern border, Corey Lewandowski appeared on Fox News on Tuesday night. In response to a panelist who mentioned the separation of the girl with Down’s syndrome, he responded: “Womp womp.”

On June 21, 2018, First Lady Melania Trump boarded a flight to visit a facility detaining children separated from their families at the southern border wearing a jacket that read, “I DON’T REALLY CARE DO U?”

Also on June 21, 2018, the Hill reported,

The Department of Justice on Thursday asked a federal district court to modify a decades-old court settlement that prohibits the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention centers for more than 20 days, following President Trump's decision to end the practice of separating migrant children from their parents who cross the U.S. border illegally.

And still on June 21, 2018, the Department of Defense announced that it would house up to 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children on military bases, at the request of HHS.

President Trump tweeted on June 24, 2018:

We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order. Most children come without parents...

On June 26, 2018, CPB said that family separations are over.

Also on June 26, 2018, Reuters reported:

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told a Senate hearing on Tuesday that most of the 2,000-plus children who had been separated from their parents could not be reunited with them until Congress passes new legislation.

A 1997 court settlement known as the Flores agreement set policy for the detention of minors in the custody of immigration officials, and a federal appeals court has interpreted it to allow immigration officials to detain families for only 20 days.

While that settlement is in place, Azar said the children could not be moved to be with their parents in detention.

“I cannot reunite them while the parents are in custody because the court order doesn’t allow kids to be with their parents for more than 20 days,” Azar said.

And still on June 26, 2018, the Washington Post reported:

“These same people [opposed to family separations] live in gated communities, many of them, and are featured at events where you have to have an ID to even come in and hear them speak,” Sessions said [in a speech to the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation in Los Angeles, Calif.]. “They like a little security around themselves, and if you try to scale the fence, believe me, they’ll be even too happy to have you arrested and separated from your children.”

Sessions looked up from his notes and grinned. Laughs and applause rose from the audience.

Partial to the “lunatic fringe” was how he characterized the lawmakers, lawyers, academics, celebrities and organizers who have condemned the division of families who cross the border illegally, often seeking asylum.

“They want borders in their lives, but not in yours,” Sessions said. “Not in the American people’s lives. That’s why the American people are sick of the lip service and the hypocrisy. They are sick of politicians who abandon promises as soon as the mainstream media criticizes them. They’ve seen it for decades and now they’re supporting the president, who’s on their side for a change.”

“If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you, and that child may be separated from you as required by law,” Sessions said.

On July 2, 2018, the Trump administration, through an DHS spokesperson, finally admitted that family separations were a result of the administration’s “zero-tolerance policy.”

Also on July 2, 2018, WNYC reported that the USCIS is launching a “denaturalization” task force to revoke what they identify as faulty grants of non-birthright citizenship and deport related people.

On July 3, 2018, NBC News reported:

After a court order to reunite more than 2,000 migrant children who were separated from their parents in May and June, the Trump administration has instructed immigration agents to give those parents two options: leave the country with your kids — or leave the country without them.

On July 9, 2018, the DOJ informed a judge that the administration was poised to miss a court-ordered deadline for reuniting children separated from their families by immigration authorities at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Amid encountering obstacles to reuniting many families federal authorities separated at the border, the Daily Beast reported on July 10, 2018:

U.S. government officials recently told four immigrant women that they must pay for DNA tests in order to be reunited with their children, according to the shelter that housed the women.

The tests are the latest ad hoc effort by the Trump administration to reunite families it had separated—in some cases because authorities took documents from adults proving they are related to their children. The tests are being administered by a private contractor on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement, which oversees the care and housing of children. HHS has refused to name the contractor, which may be a violation of federal law.

On July 11, 2018, the DOJ admitted before a federal judge that the federal government may have accidentally separated a father and his toddler — both of whom may be U.S. citizens — for up to one year.

“Since the middle of July, a group of some twenty government officials has been gathering each week at the headquarters of Customs and Border Protection, in Washington, D.C., to discuss what the Trump Administration should do in the aftermath of the President’s failed zero-tolerance policy,” the New Yorker reported on Aug. 22, 2018. According to one administration official, the purpose of the meetings is not how to avoid mistakes like family separation, but that “we need to be smarter if we want to implement something on this scale” again.

A new report, published on July 24, 2018, found that people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border with children were prosecuted at a higher rate than were people crossing the border without children under President Trump’s “zero tolerance policy.”

As of July 27, 2018, over 700 children remained separated from their families by the Trump administration.

On July 30, 2018, a federal judge found detention conditions and punishment at Shiloh Residential Treatment Center in Manvel, Texas for undocumented children separated from their families so appalling that she ordered substantial changes or the transference of detained children to a more humane facility.

At a July 31, 2018 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, ICE Executive Director of Enforcements and Removal Operations Matthew Albence described the “family residential centers” where authorities detained children without their families as “more like a summer camp” than a jail.

August 2018, Generally

On Aug. 3, 2018, President Trump renewed his attacks on the intelligence of black people, this time targeting basketball star Lebron James and CNN television personality Don Lemon. An ensuing analysis by the Washington Post found that Trump’s attacks on people’s intelligence were increasingly reserved for people of color.

On Aug. 9, 2018, the parents of First Lady Melania Trump became U.S. citizens through “chain migration,” of which Trump was uniformly critical, especially when talking about immigrants of color.

On Aug. 11, 2018, President Trump commemorated the one-year anniversary since clashes between white supremacists and anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Va. which ultimately claimed the life of Heather Heyer, who was run down by a white supremacist driver. In a tweet, he condemned “all types of racism and acts of violence.” He proceeded to take credit for “the LOWEST African American and Hispanic unemployment rates in history.”

On Aug. 13, 2018, in a scathing op-ed, policy advisor Stephen Miller’s uncle detailed the hypocrisy of Miller’s positions on immigration, suggesting that the administration is less welcoming of immigrants of color.

Following accusations by former Trump staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman that she has tapes of President Trump saying the “N-word,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders fielded an Aug. 14, 2018 question about whether she could say that no such recordings will emerge, answering, “I can’t guarantee anything.”

Also on Aug. 14, 2018, President Trump tweeted of Manigualt Newman, who is black, “When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!”

On Aug. 18, 2018, ICE detained a man driving his wife to the hospital for a scheduled cesarean section. Surveillance footage showed ICE taking away the pregnant woman’s husband, who is Latino, leaving her sobbing, before she drove herself to the hospital, where she gave birth to their fifth child.

On Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018, the Washington Post reported that White House speechwriter Darren Beattie was fired the prior week for having “spoken at a conference attended by well-known white nationalists.”

That same weekend, President Trump’s top economic advisor Larry Kudlow celebrated his birthday with a party at his house attended by Peter Brimelow, who the Washington Post identified as “a zealous promoter of white-identity politics on Vdare.com, the anti-immigration website that he founded in 1999.” The Southern Poverty Law Center identifies the VDARE Foundation, which operates Vdare.com, as a hate group.

Speaking at the American Renaissance conference a year earlier in 2017, Brimelow spoke approvingly of then-candidate Trump’s campaign kickoff speech:

But there's no doubt that something in that book got to [President Donald Trump], because the way his speech was set up. His announcement speech went to the question of Hispanic crime, specifically rape. And [Ann Coulter]'s book is a very powerful statement of the fact that crime in this country is ethnically variegated. There's ethic specialization in crime. And Hispanics do specialize in rape, particularly of children. They're very prone to it, compared to other groups.

On Aug. 20, 2018, during what New York Magazine called “a demagoguery-heavy White House event” to celebration CPB staff, President Trump invited a Latino CBP officer to the stage, saying, “Come here. You’re not nervous, right? Speaks perfect English.” Trump also uniformly referred to CBP by the acronym “CBC,” mostly commonly reserved for the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C. Trump also again falsely claimed ties between immigration and crime, saying, “Blue wave means crime. It means open borders. Not good.”

The White House subsequently included a photo of President Trump with the Latino CBP officer who “[s]peaks perfect English” in its weekly distribution to media of their photos of the week.

Also on Aug. 20, 2018, President Trump sent a letter to state and local leaders attacking the movement to “Abolish ICE,” saying, “Abolishing ICE effectively means no enforcement, no deportations and no borders — and would result in massive crime, huge loss of life, colossal economic hardship for American workers and lawless anarchy.”

On Aug. 21, 2018, former Trump staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman continued her book tour critical of the president, saying, “It is very clear Donald Trump is a racist.”

Also on Aug. 21, 2018, President Trump spoke about the murder of Mollie Tibbetts by Cristhian Bahena Rivera, who is an undocumented immigrant, saying at a Charlestown, W. Va. rally:

You heard today, with the illegal alien coming in from, very sadly, from Mexico. And you saw what happened to that incredible, beautiful young woman. Should’ve never happened. The laws are so bad. The immigration laws are such a disgrace.

On Aug. 22, 2018, President Trump posted a video on Twitter criticizing calls to abolish ICE, proposing instead to “abolish the killers in ISIS.”

Also on Aug. 22, 2018, via the @WhiteHouse account, the Trump administration tweeted a video publicizing the death of Mollie Tibbetts and other victims of crime perpetrated by undocumented immigrants in an apparent effort to minimize the harm from the family separations and argue for other hardline immigration positions.

President Trump concluded Aug. 22, 2018 by tweeting what CNBC called a “fringe talking point about South African government ‘seizing land from white farmers.’” The statement drew impassioned responses, including the South African government condemning Trump’s remark and former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke praising it. White nationalists were ecstatic about Trump’s tweet.

On Aug. 23, 2018, in a move that advocates feared threatened due process rights of immigrants, the DOJ ordered immigration judges around the country to increase their hearings from 700 per year to three per day. Observers expected the move to increase deportations.

In his Aug. 23, 2018 endorsement of Cindy Hyde-Smith, running to represent Miss. in the Senate, President Trump repeated the theme of his inaugural address echoing past xenophobes and nativists: “America First!”

On Aug. 28, 2018, the Atlantic reported that DHS policy analyst Ian Smith recently resigned from the administration upon the surfacing of email threads between Smith and prominent white nationalists.

Also on Aug. 28, 2018, reports emerged of a toddler dying from a respiratory infection contracted during immigration detention, along with allegations of subpar conditions and medical treatment.

On Aug. 29, 2018, President Trump’s endorsed candidate for governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, said of the coming general election on Fox News that Florida should not “monkey this up” by voting for his opponent Andrew Gillum, who is black.

Also on Aug. 29, 2018, the Washington Post reported that the State Department is accusing hundreds, if not thousands, of Latinos along the southern border applying for new or renewed United States passport with possessing fraudulent U.S. birth certificates.