Donald Trump Jr. posted a meme of poisoned Skittles on Monday evening in an attempt to make a point about Syrian refugees.
In a tweet, the son of Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, railed against what he described as political correctness in the US immigration process, comparing supposed terrorists hidden among Syrian refugees to poisoned skittles in a bowl.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 19, 2016
The comment quickly garnered criticism online from officials with Hillary Clinton’s campaign and some observers.
Thankful my grandfather was allowed into this country and not compared to a poisonous skittle https://t.co/YFzKLS1hx6
— Josh Schwerin (@JoshSchwerin) September 20, 2016
— Elise Foley (@elisefoley) September 20, 2016
Pause to reflect on the fact that this was sent from an iPhone, which was created by the son of a Syrian immigrant. https://t.co/N13gXgRozn
— Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) September 20, 2016
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) September 20, 2016
Immigration advocates argue that the refugee-acceptance program is one of the most difficult ways for a terrorist to enter the US, since it requires a multiyear vetting process that includes a background check and interviews.
“It is extremely unlikely that someone who is a terrorist will be sent through the refugee-resettlement program,” Greg Chen, the director of advocacy at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told Business Insider last year.
“It takes a great deal of time, and it wouldn’t make sense for someone who is a terrorist for someone to go through that process. There are going to be easier ways for a terrorist to try to infiltrate, rather than going through the refugee-resettlement program.”
Wrigley Americas, the parent company of Skittles, distanced itself from the tweet in a short statement provided to NBC News.
“Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy,” said Denise Young, the company’s vice president of corporate affairs. “We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”
This is the second time in recent days that the younger Trump has raised eyebrows with his perspective on issues in the 2016 election.
Last week, he argued that some media outlets purposefully ignored Clinton’s controversies, asserting that the same media outlets would be “warming up the gas chamber right now” if the Republican presidential nominee acted like Clinton, his Democratic rival.
Trump’s Twitter account has become a subject of some online fixation, particularly after sites like BuzzFeed rediscovered older candid and controversial tweets from Trump’s son.