Border Security Takes Center Stage Ahead of 2024 Primaries
Over the weekend, former President Donald Trump doubled down on his anti-immigration comments at rallies in two swing states.
In New Hampshire on Saturday, he accused immigrants of “poisoning the blood of our country.” The next day he was in Nevada pledging “the largest deportation operation in American history” if he were to win a second term.
Many on social media were quick to compare Trump’s comments to Adolf Hitler’s political writings.
As the primaries get closer, certain issues are shaping the 2024 presidential ballot. And once again, immigration reform is likely to be top of mind for many voters. Especially since polling shows many disapprove of how President Joe Biden has handled the issue of border security.
In the last week, Biden’s shift on immigration policies has also made headlines as it seems he might be moving to Trump-era reform.
Trump honed in on his hard-line immigration views in his speeches
On Saturday, Trump was in Durham, New Hampshire to drum up support ahead of the January 23 primary. During his speech, he rallied against the number of immigrants entering the U.S. saying “They’re poisoning the blood of our country.”
Adding, “They’re coming into our country, from Africa, from Asia, over the world. They’re pouring into our country.”
Those remarks have been widely condemned, even by the White House, which compared them to “fascists and violent white supremacists.”
A day later, in Reno, Nevada, he again used his podium to warn of an “invasion” of undocumented immigrants. “Drugs, criminals, gang members and terrorists are pouring into our country at record levels. We’ve never seen anything like it. They’re taking over our cities,” he said.
He also pledged to deport migrants in large numbers and “shift massive portions of federal law enforcement to immigration enforcement.” Though he did not repeat the comment on the blood of America on Sunday, the former president doubled down in a Truth Social post after the rally in New Hampshire.
Despite these comments, Trump is still trying to court Latino voters
The former president’s speeches come about five weeks after he made his pitch to Latinos on Univision. In an interview with the Spanish-language network, Trump called Latinos “unbelievable people” with “incredible skills” adding that they were “very entrepreneurial.”
Since then, the Washington Post has reported that Univision is planning a shift towards more Trump-friendly coverage. A move that TelevisaUnivision CEO denied a few weeks after the report was published. But that still sparked outrage among advocates and prominent Latinos like John Leguizamo who called for a boycott of the network.
That interview now stands in stark contrast with what he said over the weekend disparaging migrants who are largely from Latin American countries. It’s not the first time he’s made comments of this nature and civil rights groups like the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) have been quick to condemn them.
“Trump’s anti-immigrant speech is a fascist attempt to dehumanize immigrants much like Mussolini and Hitler did before they acted so heinously,” Lydia Guzman, LULAC’s national immigration chair told mitú. “Every American should vehemently denounce this horrible language.”
Guzman says these attacks on the Latino community will only mobilize voters come Election Day. “We do have a problem at the border,” she said in a text. “But that existed for the past several presidents. We haven’t had immigration reform for 30 years and that needs to be fixed.”