While claiming it is not an option he personally supports, President Donald Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday that shooting undocumented immigrants is an “effective” method for curbing the number who make it across the border.
According to The Independent, Trump made the comment while discussing illegal immigration with the Fox News host — also a personal friend of the president — during his first interview after the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
“If you go to a lot of the generals, they will tell you, this is a national emergency. We need to defend our country. People are pouring in,” Trump said. “Now we are capturing these people. We are getting them but we don't do it like other countries. Other countries stand there with machine guns, ready to fire.”
Lest anyone get the impression that Trump was suggesting the United States place marksmen on the southern border, the president said he personally wouldn’t want to do this — just that it happens to be effective.
“We can't do that. I wouldn't want to do that, OK?” Trump clarified. “It's a very effective way of doing it but I wouldn't want to do it. We can't do it.”
On social media, people expressed shock that the President of the United States would even suggest that shooting immigrants is an effective means for dealing with immigration issues, with some also noting the close proximity of Trump’s remarks to the mass shooting in New Zealand, which claimed the lives of 50 Muslims.
The president’s latest controversial comments on immigration also come on the heels of the revelation that hundreds of migrants families are being detained in El Paso, Texas, “behind a barb-wire fence in a car park under a bridge,” The Independent noted.