A day after United States President Donald Trump described deported immigrants as animals, he said on Friday that he was referring to the criminal gang, MS-13, that is trying to cross into the US illegally, reported The New York Times. His statements drew criticism from those who accused him of not comprehending the problems of the people who enter the country illegally and having little sympathy for them.

“I’m referring, and you know I’m referring, to the MS-13 gangs that are coming in,” Trump told The New York Times. “We have laws that are laughed at on immigration. So when the MS-13 comes in, when the other gang members come into our country, I refer to them as animals. And guess what — I always will.”

During a discussion on immigration at the White House on Thursday, Trump said, “We have people coming into the country [...] but we are taking people out of the country, you would not believe how bad these people are. These are not people, these are animals and we are taking them out of the country.”

Mexico’s government said it filed a diplomatic note of complaint with the US State Department over the remarks, reported Reuters. “President Trump referred to some immigrants, perhaps he had criminal gangs in mind, I don’t know, as animals, not as persons,” Mexico Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray told a local TV channel. “In the opinion of the Mexican government, this is absolutely unacceptable.”