Free Minds & Free Markets

Did Donald Trump Jr. Just Compare Immigrants to Zoo Animals?

Note: Undocumented immigrants are not wild animals.

Joshua Roberts/REUTERS/NewscomJoshua Roberts/REUTERS/NewscomOn the list of dumb arguments to make in support of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, the one Donald Trump Jr. made last night has to rank near the top.

After his father delivered a nationally televised address making the case for more immigration control, Trump Jr. appeared to compare zoo animals to immigrants. "You know why you can enjoy a day at the zoo? Because walls work," Trump Jr. posted on his Instagram story.

The comparison is, of course, ridiculous because undocumented immigrants are not animals.

The Trump administration has framed the situation at the southern border as a matter of national security. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, for instance, claimed Sunday that border officials caught almost 4,000 known or suspected terrorists crossing the border in 2018. But that's not true. In fact, from October 2017 to March 2018 (the first half of the fiscal year), Customs and Border Protection apprehended just six such immigrants.

Plus, as Reason's Matt Welch pointed out yesterday, the State Department reported in 2017 there was "no credible information that any member of a terrorist group has traveled through Mexico to gain access to the United States." Not only that, but studies have suggested illegal immigrants are actually less prone to commit crimes than native-born Americans.

Walls at zoos are just as irrelevant to the immigration debate as the fences rich people put around their homes. "Some have suggested a barrier is immoral," President Donald Trump said in his speech last night. "Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences, and gates around their homes?"

"They don't build walls because they hate the people on the outside but because they love the people on the inside," he added.

Building a wall around your own home, of course, does not involve spending tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer money or seizing private property. And those walls Trump referred to actually work, which is more than you can say for his proposed border barrier.

Unfortunately, this is the kind of reasoning you're going to use in front of the nation when you "borrow" talking points from cable news stars:

Photo Credit: Joshua Roberts/REUTERS/Newscom

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  • Rich||

    "You know why you can enjoy a day at the zoo? Because walls work," Trump Jr. posted on his Instagram story.

    The comparison is, of course, ridiculous because undocumented immigrants are not animals.

    "The comparison is, of course, ridiculous because undocumented immigrants cross the border in the night, too."

    "The comparison is, of course, ridiculous because not everyone enjoys a day at the zoo."

    Hey, this is fun!

  • CDRSchafer||

    i went to the zoo and it was like a zoo there! Full of animals!

  • Brandybuck||

    "The comparison is, of course, ridiculous because tigers don't vote Democrat and thus threaten the partisan Republican base."

  • Ken Shultz||

    I agree.

    No two things are exactly alike, and a comparison is valid so long as the two aspects of that thing being compared are alike.

    Was Jr. making a reference to violent criminals?

    "Police say Martinez first broke into the apartment of a 65-year-old woman, bound her hands and feet with scarves, and proceeded to sexually assault her.

    Later that day, he confronted a woman in a parking garage with a knife and threatened to kill her. Police suspect that Martinez was attempting to kidnap the woman as she left work."

    "Accused Oregon Rapist Deported 13 Times Since 2008"

    I've seen numerous references to violent criminals who've been deported numerous times--only to come back across the border over and over again. Such violent criminals should be locked up in cages. That's what we do with them. We treat them like the animals they are. If we can't keep them out, then we should be asking ourselves why.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Oh, and technically, illegal immigrants ARE animals. They're certainly not vegetables or minerals.

    The analogy works, because while not every animal at the zoo is a threat to your life, some of them are.

    And isn't the same true of illegal aliens?

  • buybuydandavis||

    So much cultural enrichment!

    We should be sending the home countries of illegal aliens a bill for the public services consumed by their citizens who come here illegally.

  • beteille||

    Police say Martinez first broke into the apartment of a 65-year-old woman, bound her hands and feet with scarves, and proceeded to sexually assault her.

    So you're saying even walls at HOME don't work????

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Accused Oregon Rapist Deported 13 Times Since 2008"

    That's the part we're talking about.

  • Ken Shultz||

    P.S. Do you lock your front door at night?

    If so, why?

  • ||

    The comparison is, of course, ridiculous because undocumented immigrants are not animals.
    Hey, this is fun!

    Undocumented minerals? Undocumented vegetables? If they're undocumented, how do you know they aren't animals?

  • ||

    The comparison is, of course, ridiculous because animals find ways to overcome the walls in zoos all the time.

  • Careless||

    We once had a macaque bite through a stainless steel fence to escape. Small zoo, and there was only one pen in the zoo that had an open top and contained predators capable of killing him. As long as he didn't jump in the wolf pen, he would be safe.

    He died.

  • Sevo||

    "You know why you can enjoy a day at the zoo? Because walls work," Trump Jr. posted on his Instagram story."

    Someone related to Trump made a statement which can be construed (if you hold your mouth just right) as nasty!
    Setyon, seek help.

  • Dillinger||

    kind of a stretch.

  • Yellow Tony||

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders

    Why is she still a thing? Trump, baby, please hire someone attractive. I hate when I have to reluctantly masturbate.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Are you reluctantly crouched at the starting line as we speak?

  • Brandybuck||

    Yellow Tony reluctantly masturbating is why there are walls at the zoo.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Technically, we all degrees from primates...

    So yeah, illegals are zoo animals and so are Americans.

    America zoo animals just get to decide who enters the USA, thanks to our US Constitution.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Not yet we don't.

    The US Constitution will have to be start being enforce first, along with our immigration law.

  • Yellow Tony||

    Your Taxes (Once Again) Are Underwriting Bad Mortgage Loans

    Bad government policies helped spawn the 2008 financial crisis. Those policies are still in place. One of them is lending money to non-creditworthy people to buy houses. As Bloomberg News reports, government guarantees underpin home loans to people who have already defaulted on their car loans or filed for bankruptcy. When the economy goes south, they will default on their home loans, too (at the taxpayers' expense). Thanks to the federal government's "most important affordable housing program," a loan officer gets a "nearly risk-free commission" for making loans that the "government ultimately bears the risk for."

    I've always wondered why people who agree to these loans don't get blamed too.

  • ||

    I've always wondered why people who agree to these loans don't get blamed too.

    If you build a wall around bad loans, people will just use ladders. The real solution is more interventionist policies to help prevent these people from undertaking the dangerous journey in order to get these terrible loans in the first place.

  • CDRSchafer||

    Yes Trump is terrible which is why illegals should remain in their own countries which are obviously much better.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    Trump is not a good-or-bad proposition. He has good and bad points. Even Pelosi and Schumer have good points to go with the bad.

    Even the damned wall has good points -- just as Bastiat's broken window has good points, just as Krugman's Martian War has good points, and nuclear war has good points.

    You know who else had good points?

  • Philadelphia Collins||


  • Mongo||

    Bob Seger's lost piece of ass from Night Moves?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    The kid from So I Married An Axe Murderer?

  • Dillinger||

    Heid! Pants! Now!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Where is "Head" now? That's real journalism.

  • Dillinger||

    livin' off his Mighty Ducks residuals hopefully.

  • Pro Libertate||

    So, his acting career was rather limited. Probably because his head was too fooking big.

  • Dillinger||

    like an orange on a toothpick

  • ||

    Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Lenin,Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro, and Chavez?

    The all had good points and some even got the trains to come on time!

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Really, the U.S. is full of xenophobes and Nazis! Deplorable Nazis who are turning the country into The Handmaid's Tale! Why would anybody want to come to such a country?

  • buybuydandavis||

    Run, foreigners, run!

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Stop trying to outrage so hard, Joe.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    You missed a comma in that sentence, Crusty,

  • Fancylad||

    Saw the lead and knew it had to be either Setyon or Shikha.

  • DajjaI||

    Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.

    The nation is too bitterly divided on the wall for it to ever be effective. #wordofthechrist

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    Yes we're divided. Are you on the side of the socialists or the people who believe in the constitution?

  • Mongo||

    I have a wall because I don't want Tomi and Junior flinging their feces at me.

  • creech||

    "Building a wall around your own home, of course, does not involve spending tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer money "
    My house walls certainly cost a larger proportion of my assets than any wall would cost American taxpayers. But most of us don't choose to say "F**k it" and live in open sided tents where any and all comers are welcome to stroll around the old homestead and admire it (maybe even run the vacuum cleaner or clean the windows) while some few decide that my possessions are now their possessions.

  • Mongo||

    I lock my bike up because I don't want it stolen but it done got stole anyway.


  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    Anti-immigrants are xenophobes, that's the simple answer.

    The more complicated answer is that they are immature fraidy-cats, scared to death of competition, scared to death that immigrants work harder and smarter, scared to death that they will have to up their game.

    They are no different from cronies who get their government buddies to levy tariffs and raise import prices. They are scared to death of reality, of markets, of freedom, especially freedom of others to do what they want. (They will say "steal, rape murder", as if that is what immigrants want, without mentioning that they themselves, by enacting tariffs and anti-immigrant policies, are stealing from me and from those I would do business with.)

    A bunch of pussies, cronies, fascists, xenophobes, fraidy-cats.

  • Inigo Montoya||


    Fraidycats are everywhere. They're even scared of robots. Instead of worrying a robot will take your job, why not learn to work in a robot-related job, FFS! You know what the smart ferriers, groomers, and wagon-builders did when the automobile started replacing horses? They went into car-related businesses!

  • ||

    Do you have a citation for that? I would guess that the ferriers, groomers and wagon builders lobbied Congress to ban cars.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    The conservative mind always seem to need some kind of out-group on which to place all the blame and frustration that they feel with themselves. Of course, the liberals are no better, except for them the out-group is always the same: it's the conservatives.

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    Yes, conservatives worry about the evils that lie outside our borders, while liberals will fight for the rights of everyone outside the border. And any conservative who questions the evils outside the border is a racist bigot homophobe.

    Liberals love the third world, it's a shame they don't move there.

  • Nardz||

    Can't imagine why "libertarians" always lose.
    JFC, you're a sad piece of work

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    These are the assholes that would virtue signal about how they loved the idea of open borders while standing in the bread line

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    There it is, that fear of competition putting your lazy ass in the bread line.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That guy ain't a Libertarian.

    Seems like a troll to me.

  • ||

    The restaurant lobby and food trucks!

  • ||

    The more complicated answer is that they are immature fraidy-cats, scared to death of competition, scared to death that immigrants work harder and smarter, scared to death that they will have to up their game.

    This is totally incorrect. I'm a lazy cheating fuck. My concern isn't that immigrants will show up and do a better job than me. It's that they'll show up and be even more lazy and cheating. I said it long before the border wall was a glimmer in Trump's eye, if there were a way I could get undocumented and it meant I got to keep my guns (speech, church, etc.), kids, and house, but could opt out of Soc. Sec., ACA, etc. I'd do it. Being lazy as I am, I might even let them keep the money they've ripped off of me thus far.

    The whole open-/no-borders argument isn't an intrinsically anti-government or pro-freedom argument, it's a selective argument in favor of some rights and opposed to others. You act like "More bodies for the leviathan!" isn't an intrinsic part of the whole pro-immigration stance. I'm not at all afraid of open borders or people on the other side of the open borders, I'm worried that the Universal Healthcare that I don't like and don't want to give to natives now can and will be applied across any borders, which is an explicit outcome of the open-/no-borders proposition.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "I totally take the peace, freedom, and prosperity of the US for granted. And I hate those that don't."

  • Fancylad||

    scared to death of competition

    What competition? Illegals create a situation that is anti-competitive because one side is hamstrung by idiotic wage laws, overbearing regulations and taxes, while the other side doesn't have to worry about any of that.

    Inigo the illegal cuts lawns and ground-keeps for ten bucks an hour, his kids work for him for free, he doesn't worry about labour laws, or safety regulations or paying taxes.
    His wife works for Tolerant Inc. and industrial cleaning company that hires illegals almost exclusively. She works six days a week, ten hours a day for $4.50 an hour. No benefits, no safety or labour regulations, and no income taxes paid. Tolerant Inc. has been raided twice, but because of their vocal progressive stance on immigration and party donations, they have the protection of powerful local Democrats.

  • Fancylad||

    Redneck Billy also has a lawn cutting business. He had two assistants and is legally compelled to pay them the new legal minimum "living wage" plus benefits as well as pay for his business permit, his lawncare professional certification, equipment emissions inspections and taxes. He charges $27 per hour, but only pockets $6. That's four dollars less than Inigo. Redneck Billy doesn't get many jobs anymore and let his assistants go.
    His wife works for XenoPhobic Inc. (XP) also an industrial cleaning company that only hires legal immigrants and citizens. She works five days a week, 7.5 hours a day for $9.50 an hour. She receives all state mandated benefits, and XP scrupulously follows labour regulations. XP has been raided twice by regulators and shut down for whimsical reasons that were soon overturned in court. XP has just entered into bankruptcy proceedings as it was unable to compete against Tolerant because it followed the rules.

    Redneck Billy and his wife don't know how they will make ends meet and blame they're problem on illegals working outside the crippling regulations and taxes they have to.
    Alphabet Soup and CumJuff say they're "scared to death of competition, scared to death that immigrants work harder and smarter", and that they're "A bunch of pussies, cronies, fascists, xenophobes, fraidy-cats."

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Sorry to say it, but the zoo wall analogy might hold up after all. There are several reasons why zoos have walls or natural enclosures, and only one of them is to keep spectators safe.

    Some animals, including non-dangerous ones, might escape—preferring risky freedom to well-fed captivity. The Berlin Wall was a human example of this.

    Some animals would prey on other animals if not kept separate. Do you think the zoo's okapis and anteaters would fare well with if lions and crocodiles didn't have walls around them? The human analogy is the way different groups don't mix well together, despite the Ugly American idea that "furriners are all the same.

    Other animals, the soft cute ones, are enclosed in petting areas for children to cuddle and feed them. Do you want your children (well teenagers) to start petting with cute bikini model-type Latinas? Okay, that last one might not be a problem.

  • ||

    Well, this was rather underwhelming.


  • Pro Libertate||

    You know, it's not necessary to opine on everything. Sometimes, it's okay to say, "I got nuthin'." That goes both ways.

  • ||

    Why is Trump's shit black? Is he racist?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Next, on Anderson Cooper. He's a Vanderbilt, you know.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Junior's analogy may be faulty, but contrary to the overexcited headline it doesn't "compare immigrants to animals".

  • Jerryskids||

    "You know why you can enjoy a day at the zoo? Because walls work," Trump Jr. posted on his Instagram story.

    He obviously meant you can enjoy a day at the zoo because the night before you weren't killed when your walls failed and your collapsing roof crushed you to death in your sleep.

    Given the fact that the walls in the zoo are more designed to keep the animals inside rather than the people outside, it's a dumb analogy, but it's a stretch of Armstrongian proportions to suggest Junior was comparing illegal immigrants to zoo animals. And as far as the rest of the article goes, arguing that soundbites make for poor arguments is swatting flies with a sledgehammer.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    [raises finger]

    The analogy doesn't work because the zoo has cages, not walls.

    [frowns in thought]

    [puts finger back down]

  • A Lady of Reason||

    No, but the behavior of the criminals coming over and killing US citizens is in my opinion, worse than animals and should be kept out! His comparison is apt as letting anyone in is a very bad idea... At least animals don't kill for malice and evil's sake... And let's call them what they are: Illegals! They're immigration status is illegal, not their humanity, like the common straw-man says in favor of censoring the term!

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    You recently dated a Latino, didn't you.

  • Ray McKigney||

    A Latino who was very assertive! Almost as bad as a Kraut!

  • Inigo Montoya||

    It's okay, lady of reason. Show us on the doll where the good-looking Latino man didn't want to touch you.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Yes yes we know the demagoguery playbook:

    1. Stoke fear of illegal immigrants as being a bunch of hardened criminals
    2. Use that fear to restrict the liberties of all of the immigrants as well as citizens

  • Inigo Montoya||

    It worked great with terrorism, so why not? By making people scared of terrorists, they now have rescinded any right to privacy. Make people scared of illegals, and you can restrict everyone's freedom of movement. They are smart, in a 1984-type way!

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Did Donald Trump Jr. Just Compare Immigrants to Zoo Animals?"


    What bozos.

    He gave an example showing that walls work that presumably even the stupidest could imagine and understand.

    But he didn't reckon with the power of TDS to lower IQ.

  • Uncle Adolf’s Gas and Grill||

    Maybe Reason thinks we're the animals.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Libertarians are, in some ways.

    Wild animals are adapted to fending for themselves. They find their own food, build their own nests, find mates on their own, and train their own young—all without asking other animals collectively for handouts. You don't see wild animals crying about imagined offensives, demanding government help, or saying well-fed animals need to pay their fair share.

    You also don't see animals organizing to start wars elsewhere, dictating what other animals can eat, or grumbling about climate change.

  • Agammamon||

    God damn Seyton. He did not compare illegal immigrants to zoo animals.

    Jesus you guys, get a grip.

  • Juice||

    "Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences, and gates around their homes?"

    "They don't build walls because they hate the people on the outside

    HA HA HA! OK! Sure!

  • Azathoth!!||

    ...and reason takes another giant step towards it's new, more 'Democratic Underground' status.

    This isn't even sad anymore, it's expected.

  • Sigivald||

    "Undocumented immigrants"?

    Really, Seyton? Really, Reason?

    This is the level of discourse I'm subjected to, now?

    There's a reason Adblock is on, and I don't subscribe anymore, and I'll never donate - this kind of newspeak garbage nonsense.

    Reason delendam esse is my new watchphrase, until this nonsense stops.

    (I'm not saying I want Reason to Be Against Lots Of Immigration; I want plenty, myself. I do, however, want honest language, not newspeak trash picked up from the Progressives.

    I want arguments, not assertions.

    Until then, I am here only to mock the new party line, exactly as you deserve.)


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