Ammon Bundy, who was at the center of the 2016 standoff with the government at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, posted a video to Facebook this Tuesday criticizing President Trump’s rhetoric regarding the migrant caravan.
According to Bundy, Trump’s characterization of migrants as “all criminals” is “incorrect.”
“To group them all up like, frankly, our president has done — you know, trying to speak respectfully — he has basically called them all criminals and said they’re not coming in here. … It seems that there’s been this group stereotype,” Bundy said in the nearly 18-minute video.
“What about the fathers, the mothers and the children, that have come here and are willing to go through the process to apply for asylum so they can come into this country and benefit from not having to be oppressed continually with criminals?” he continued.
In January of 2016, Bundy and fellow militia members were convicted of conspiring to impede federal officers policing the Malheur National Wildlife Refugee which they took over before the standoff. The failed takeover started after two Oregon ranchers were sent to jail for starting fires that spread to federal property.
In his video, Bundy said that some in the caravan may “act like criminals,” but added that it doesn’t mean the group as a whole should be labeled that way.
“It’s all fear-based, and it’s frankly based upon selfishness,” Bundy said, referring to Trump’s rhetoric. “I think that’s incorrect. … But also to base your arguments or your motives or your actions based upon fear is a very dangerous thing to do.”
Bundy said that the migrants have every right to apply for asylum and that their cases should be judged on an individual basis.
At the outset of the video, Bundy mentioned that he received a lot of backlash over previous comments he made regarding Trump’s border rhetoric.
“…a lot of negative response, a lot of positive response. Negative to the point where several people wished me dead, and others wished the militia [never came] and helped my family so that the government would kill us.”
Watch the full video below: