A facetious Christmastime tweet from the U.S Department of Agriculture prompted outrage from critics of President Donald Trump, who attacked his administration for its treatment of migrants detained at the border.
“Breaking: Santa and his 9 reindeer have been issued a permit to enter the U.S. on #ChristmasEve,” read a Monday tweet from the USDA, “thus ensuring children across the country will wake up #Christmas morning filled with joy & spirit of the season.”
So now Santa Claus needs a permit to enter the U.S.?
You SERIOUSLY thought this was funny?
Nothing says joy & spirit of the season like Santa being asked for his papers at the border. Does he have to go through a body screening too?
— Dawn Johnson ???????? (@sundene) December 24, 2019
“With a growing world population, Mr. Claus will have his busiest Christmas yet. At USDA, we want to ensure we are not hindering Mr. Claus’ important work of spreading Christmas Cheer for all to hear,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in a statement posted to the department’s website. “Ease of access into the United States for Mr. Claus and his nine reindeer will ensure that children all over the country – including my own fourteen grandchildren – will wake up on Christmas morning with joy and filled with the spirit of the season. USDA issued this permit in advance and waived all applicable fees to help ensure a smooth trip on Christmas Eve night.”
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Liberal commenters on social media were incensed at the ease with which Kris Kringle had gained entry into the country and compared the red carpet rolled out for St. Nick with Trump’s hardline stance on immigration.
“Will he be detained at the border and thrown into a cage?” tweeted food writer Jamie Schler.
“So now Santa Claus needs a permit to enter the U.S.? Seriously? You SERIOUSLY thought this was funny? Nothing says joy & spirit of the season like Santa being asked for his papers at the border. Does he have to go through a body screening too? Sheesh,” tweeted one outraged commenter.
“It’s funny because the *President puts children in concentration camps,” tweeted Richard Frankel, a professor and expert on extremism.
Well he is white sooooo…..
— jason sandoval (@jasonsandvoal) December 25, 2019
Max Kennerly, a trial lawyer and vehement critic of the president with nearly 50,000 followers on Twitter, took a dig at the president by coming up with an alternate version of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”
— Diane, Fan of Fiona (and here we are) (@labadorer) December 24, 2019
“Is Santa delivering gifts to the thousands of children that this administration has kept in cages? They didn’t even want them to have soap,” tweeted one user, apparently in reference to the Trump administration’s use of migrant detention centers.
But as others pointed out, the practice began during the tenure of President Barack Obama.
We, the American taxpayers, are paying private companies to house immigrants. They are making MILLIONS off of these poor souls. And they are treating them worse than zoo animals. No baths. No decent food. No medical care. No regulatory supervision. Merry Christmas.
— Feliz Navidad to Kids in Cages (@bejaha) December 24, 2019
Some urged their fellow Twitter users to lighten up and enjoy the holiday.
“Most replies here are from people with dark souls, who don’t have the capacity to understand joy in someone else’s world. All they know is to tear it all down. That does not make you look informed or educated. Merry Christmas to you also , USDA people,” tweeted one commenter.
“A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist”
The Trump administration’s practice of holding migrants caught at the border in detention centers has ignited a firestorm, especially among Democrat lawmakers such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Ocasio-Cortez – a bombastic and often–inaccurate critic of Trump’s hardline immigration policies – said in June that the United States was “running concentration camps” on the southern border.
She claimed Trump had created a crisis not just for “the immigrant communities being held in concentration camps,” but also for the United States.
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“This is a crisis if America will remain America in its actual principles and values or if we are losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency,” she told her 3.6 million Instagram followers in a video. “I don’t use those words lightly. I don’t use those words to just throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is. A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist.”