President Donald Trump is escalating his anti-immigrant rhetoric just days before the election, warning of an invasion of migrants and threatening to change the rules for asylum seekers. The afternoon announcement comes as Democrats and Republicans are calling out Trump for releasing what they call a divisive and racist video just days before the midterm elections.
Luis Bracamontes repeatedly entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico. He received the death penalty for murdering two Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies in 2014.
“Illegal immigrant, Luis Bracamontes, killed our people!” says the on-screen message, followed by the words, “Democrats let him stay.” The video does not cite the specific law or policy by which Democrats would have been responsible for Bracamontes or his crimes.
The video, an official White House statement, goes on to feature interviews with Americans fearful of the “caravan” of Central American citizens seeking asylum in America. It then shows throngs of people, supposedly migrants, breaking through a gate. The on-screen text asks “who else will Democrats let in?”
”Instead of working to unite the country, President Trump and Republicans in Washington keep trying to use the politics of fear and false attacks to divide Americans so we’ll look the other way while they hand out tax breaks to Wall Street and Big Oil, sabotage our health care system, and jeopardize Social Security and Medicare,” said U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen (D), who is attempting to unseat Republican U.S. Senator Dean Heller. “ Nevadans are not going to fall for it.”
Some Republicans are reportedly attempting to distance themselves from Trump. CNN is reporting candidates in Arizona and Nevada have asked Trump to stay away in the final days of the campaign.
The hard-press on immigration includes the president’s order to send thousands of troops to the Mexican border in advance of the arrival of the asylum-seekers. He’s also threatening executive action to repeal the 14th amendment’s guarantee of citizenship to babies born in the U.S.
Trump appears to be attempting to turn attention in the final days of voting from the synagogue shooting that killed eleven people and the explosive devices sent to Democratic leaders and news media last week. Critics have blamed Trump’s rhetoric for inciting both incidents.
“This is yet another example of the President’s hate-mongering, race-baiting style at a time when words matter more than ever,” said U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D).
“While the President relentlessly divides our nation with his racist and incendiary rhetoric, the Nevada Dems will continue working hard to elect Democrats who will focus on improving the lives of all Nevadans,” said spokeswoman Helen Kalla of the state Democratic party.
The campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak did not respond to a request for comment. Spokespersons for Heller and Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who is running against Sisolak, also did not respond to requests for comment.