Less than a week ago, 11 people were gunned down by Robert Bowers in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Today, President Donald Trump is pushing the same exact conspiracy theories that Bowers believes in, namely that immigrants are coming to the U.S. basically for the explicit purpose of killing us and taking over our country.
While that couldn’t be further from the truth, it hasn’t stopped Trump from employing the heaviest of scare tactics in his latest campaign ad, which features Luis Bracamontes. Bracamontes is an undocumented immigrant who moved here in 1993 when he was 16 and killed two Sacramento-area deputies in 2014. The ad, intercut with images of the caravan of migrants that Trump keeps going on about ominously, makes it seem as though Bracamontes is the face of immigration.
Bracamontes can be heard gleefully bragging in the ad about killing cops and vowing to kill more should he ever get out of prison. Trump’s message is crystal clear: undocumented immigrants want nothing more than to kill us, and the Republicans are our only hope for safety.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2018
It matters not a whit to the President that that’s statistically untrue—immigrants are actually much less likely to commit crimes than people born here. Additionally, most cities that have had a rise in the number of immigrants living in them have simultaneously had a drop in the number of violent crimes.
This is who Trump is sending maybe 15K troops to the border to protect us from. https://t.co/260pLNq2BI
— Joe Berkowitz (@JoeBerkowitz) November 1, 2018
Trump’s ad is a lot like the thinking of Bowers, who posted on social network Gab right before his shooting spree: “HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) likes to bring invaders that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
Bowers’ use of the word “invaders” is important to note—Trump has often called illegal immigration an “invasion.” Bowers and Trump think of the immigrants in a very similar way—that they are dangerous and must be stopped.
And Trump is not just going after immigrants—he’s targeting Jews, specifically, as well. When asked if he thought anyone was funding the caravan, possibly Jewish Democratic financier George Soros (who last week received a pipe bomb), Trump answered, “I don’t know who, but I wouldn’t be surprised. A lot of people say yes.”
REPORTER: Do think somebody is funding the caravan?
TRUMP: "I wouldn't be surprised, yeah. I wouldn't be surprised."
R: George Soros?
T: "I don't know who, but I wouldn't be surprised. A lot of people say yes." pic.twitter.com/U1w9EYHcw6
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 31, 2018
You might recognize his “a lot of people say” line as the thing he says when he wants to back up whatever thing he just completely made up. Only, in this case, he’s spewing this nonsense during the same week as the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in America’s history.
The real threat to this country is not illegal immigration—it’s Donald J. Trump himself.