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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Donald Trump’s Migrant Obsession – The Atlantic


Irrespective of the query, his reply is “unlawful immigrants.”

Donald Trump making a speech
Hannah Beier / Bloomberg / Getty

At Thursday’s debate, whereas Joe Biden struggled to place a sentence collectively, Donald Trump struggled to utter any sentence that wasn’t about unlawful immigrants destroying the nation.

Harsh rhetoric—and coverage—on migrants and the border has lengthy been a pillar of Trump’s political id, however it used to fit right into a a lot wider vary of grievances. On the marketing campaign path in 2016, Trump railed towards free commerce, vowed to get revenge on China for ripping America off, and accused company executives and Wall Road of enriching themselves unfairly. This time round, nevertheless, Trump has all however dropped his different preoccupations in favor of a monocausal concept of each downside America faces, and even some issues it doesn’t: an apocalyptic onslaught of immigrants, welcomed to the nation by Biden, who’re “killing our individuals in New York, in California, in each state within the Union, as a result of we don’t have borders anymore.”

Requested about his position in stoking a violent assault on the Capitol on January 6, Trump declared, “And let me let you know about January 6: On January 6, we had an excellent border, no person coming by means of, only a few.” How about fixing local weather change? “What [Biden] is doing is destroying all of our medical packages as a result of the migrants coming in.” Any plans for making childcare extra inexpensive? Biden “desires open borders. He desires our nation to both be destroyed or he desires to choose up these individuals as voters.” What about preserving the solvency of Social Safety? “However Social Safety, he’s destroying it. As a result of thousands and thousands of persons are pouring into our nation, they usually’re placing them onto Social Safety; they’re placing them onto Medicare, Medicaid.” Racial inequality? “As positive as you’re sitting there, the actual fact is that his large kill on the Black individuals is the thousands and thousands of people who he’s allowed to return in by means of the border.”

Throughout a Democratic-primary debate in 2007, a youthful, extra verbally adroit Biden memorably lampooned Rudy Giuliani, on the time the Republican front-runner, for making an attempt to construct a complete political persona round his management after the September 11 assault. “Rudy Giuliani—there’s solely three issues he mentions in a sentence: a noun, a verb, and 9/11,” Biden quipped. “I imply, there’s nothing else!”

If Biden have been as sharp as he as soon as was, he might need made Trump’s immigrant obsession look silly and merciless. He might need famous that for all Trump’s speak of violence, violent crime—which surged in 2020 and 2021—has plunged over the previous two years and is falling even quicker this 12 months, together with in cities which have just lately taken in giant numbers of migrants. (As of final week, town of Boston had skilled solely 4 murders in all of 2024, in comparison with 18 by this level final 12 months.) He might need noticed that border crossings are down by half since December. And he might need mocked the absurdity of Trump’s declare that migrant staff are draining Social Safety, when in actual fact, by paying Social Safety taxes with out receiving advantages, they do the precise reverse.

Within the occasion, Biden didn’t try this. Trump’s darkish and weird portrait of a nation on the verge of civilizational collapse on the hand of migrant hordes went principally unchallenged. It stays as much as the voters to resolve what the best menace to their lifestyle actually is.

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