President Donald Trump has finally found a way to designate Mexicans as terrorists to justify his hardline immigration policies.
The president told Breitbart News that his administration was "very seriously" considering a policy change that would label Mexican drug cartels or some of their factions as Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
“We are, we are,” Trump told the website. “We’re thinking about doing it very seriously. In fact, we’ve been thinking about it for a long time.”
The president appeared to admit the change was intended to gin up fear of Mexican immigrants to justify his proposed border wall and other controversial anti-immigration policies.
“It’s psychological, but it’s also economic,” Trump said. “As terrorists — as terrorist organizations, the answer is yes. They are.”
Trump then cited an inflated statistic to justify his fear-mongering about gang violence across the border.
“Mexico, unfortunately, has lost control of the cartels,” Trump said. “They’ve totally lost control of the cartels. Mexico last year had 42,000 deaths — murders — 42,000. It’s considered one of the most unsafe countries in the world.”
The country reported a record high 33,341 homicides last year, up more than 15 percent from the year before, but far below the number Trump cited.
“Now, I’m with them," Trump told Breitbart. "I really like the new president. He’s a wonderful guy, but you know, 42,000 murders. A lot of it is drug-induced."
He then offered another inflated statistic in a story about his recent visit to the U.S.-Mexico border.
"When I was down on the border in Rio Grande three weeks ago," Trump said, "they had 26 people killed right near where I was, and it was a gang fight, and they were buried on the site. That was right near the area that I was at. The papers don’t even write about it. You know, did you read about the 26 people killed? You don’t even read about it."
Authorities reported finding 21 bodies in early January near the border town of Miguel Aleman, Tamaulipas, in what appears to be a violent clash between drug gangs.