Their Friends

Donald Trump

Donald Trump, the 2024 Republican presidential nominee, is at the forefront of the GOP’s xenophobic agenda. In June 2015, Trump launched his first campaign for president by attacking Latinos and immigrants, stating that Mexico was “sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” Trump continued his assault throughout his 2016 campaign, the entirety of his presidency, and now his 2024 campaign after losing the 2020 election and inciting an insurrection.

He has further driven to villainize immigrants by regurgitating “invasion” and great replacement conspiracy theories, accelerating its usage despite evidence during the past several election cycles that this is a losing strategy. His rallies are filled with hateful and negative stereotypes, strongly pushed onto his voters to dehumanize immigrants and their families. He’s promised mass deportations and to end birthright citizenship. He’s described immigrants as “not people,” repeated Nazi rhetoric that immigrants are “poisoning the blood of America,” and used “bloodbath” rhetoric as a call to violence to lay the foundation for the rejection of any election results that do not go his way.

This rhetoric isn’t new and has been central in some of the darkest moments in world history. Dictators Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini used similar language to influence the populace and justify inflicting unspeakable horrors. For the Trump campaign, mimicking this rhetoric is not coincidental but rather a strategic plan designed to invoke fear and negatively characterize immigrants to justify actions that can lead to violence against marginalized communities.

Trump knows that his outcry of lies and fearmongering about the southern border and immigrants is one of his main strategies for his campaign and the base. When the Senate proposed a bipartisan border bill that contained many of the restrictionist policies that Republicans have been demanding, Trump quickly denounced it on his social media, saying that it is “a great gift to the Democrats, and a Death Wish for The Republican Party.”

Republicans did as they were told and killed the bill despite repeatedly framing conditions at the southern border in alarmist tones. Since then, Trump and Republican Congressional members have continued to attack their political opponents on immigration despite rejecting their bill and have echoed white nativist extremist language to fearmonger on the issue and rally their base ahead of the November election.