Trump rips Democrats for allowing MS-13 'animals' into country

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE attacked Democrats in Congress over immigration in his weekly address Saturday, blaming the party for refusing to close "loopholes" that allow gang members, including MS-13 members, into the United States.

In the video message, Trump singled out House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiRisk-averse Republicans are failing the republic The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Dems put manufacturing sector in 2020 spotlight Trump, Saturday Night Live and why autocrats can't take a joke MORE (D-Calif.), accusing her of trying to "protect" MS-13 members who he described as "animals" in his remarks.

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"MS-13 gang members are truly, and you’ve heard me say it, animals — and yet Nancy Pelosi and Washington Democrats continue to protect them and to push for open borders," Trump said.

"The record is plain: Washington Democrats voted against 'Kate’s Law,' they voted against legislation to deport gang members and they voted for 'sanctuary cities' where these violent criminals hide," Trump continued. "Democrats in Congress have opposed every measure that would close these immigration loopholes and bring the slaughter to an end."

The president has frequently used murders and other crimes committed by MS-13 members as justification for his administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump O'Rourke on impeachment: 2020 vote may be best way to 'resolve' Trump MORE enacted earlier this year.

A small fraction of immigrants apprehended at the border are affiliated with MS-13, according to Vox and other sources. The Trump administration estimates the gang to number just over 10,000 nationally in comparison to the millions of undocumented immigrants across the country.

In closing, Trump urged Americans to demand that lawmakers pass tougher measures aimed at fighting the criminal gang.

"Americans must demand their lawmakers support the legislation we need to defeat MS-13 once and for all — and to ensure every American child, in every American community, can grow up in safety, and grow up in security and in peace," he said.