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Updated: Trump Accuses Undocumented Immigrants Of Spurring Gang Violence In Chicago

By Stephen Gossett in News on Feb 8, 2017 4:20PM

As it is a day that ends with a “y,” President Donald Trump lashed out again at Chicago violence on Wednesday morning. This time, he also partially blamed undocumented immigrants for the city's crime.

“You look at Chicago, and you look at other places,” Trump said, according to CBS. “So many of the problems are caused by gang members, many of whom are not even legally in our country.”

Trump did not offer any substantiation for the link he drew. The president's administration is of course in the midst of a legal challenge that attempts to lift the suspension of his immigration-ban executive order.

“What is going on in Chicago?” Trump also asked while addressing a group of law enforcement officials in Washington D.C. The comments were the second Trump has made about Chicago crime in as many days.

“In Chicago, more than 4,000 people were shot last year alone,” Trump said in his speech. “And the rate so far this year has been even higher.”

Trump was speaking at a conference with the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

“Whether a child lives in Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore or anywhere in our country, he or she has the right to grow up in safety and in peace,” Trump added. “No one in America should be punished because of the city where he or she is born.”

As the Tribune notes, shootings are indeed up, by about eight percent, from this time last year although homicides have fallen by more than double that figure.

“With all the talk and no action, you have to wonder whether the administration is serious about working with us on solutions, or if they are just using violence in this great city to score political points. We’ve been clear. There are ways the federal government can help, and we’re happy to partner with the administration whenever they decide to stop talking and start acting,” Chicago mayoral spokesman Matt McGrath said.

The president’s latest Chicago-crime remark came one day after he said, “Chicago is worse than some places in Middle East where there are wars going on.” Trump’s comments on Tuesday were made to another law enforcement group, the National Sheriff’s Association. During that exchange, Trump also falsely claimed that the national murder rate is the highest it’s been in nearly 50 years.

In January, Trump threatened to "send in the feds" if Chicago failed to stop it's "carnage." The following day, in an interview with ABC News, Trump doubled down, saying Chicago is "like a war zone" and compared the city to Afghanistan. A week ago, Ohio pastor Darrell Scott said at a Black History Month listening session that he was in touch with "top gang thugs in Chicago" on how to address violent crime, but the pastor the pastor quickly walked back his statement. Chicago violence was a frequent topic for Trump during the presidential campaign as well.

This post has been updated.