Washington, DC – Republican chaos in Congress is intersecting with their relentless, chaotic and anti-immigrant focus, which has escalated to a new and even more dangerous level in recent days. Their embrace of conspiratorial fearmongering continues, with Republicans now directly connecting immigration and the border to the unrelated violence and horrors on display in Israel. Following the lead of the presidential primary frontrunner Donald Trump, whom the New York Times characterized recently as adopting “language with echoes of white supremacy and Hitler,” some Republicans are now saying Americans should arm themselves against immigrants and “sleeper cells” who have crossed the border.
According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“Donald Trump is just the tip of the spear of the vile anti-immigrant fearmongering that has infected the GOP and right-wing media. When Trump adopts a talking point, for example saying immigrants are ‘poisoning the blood’ of America, it opens up space for the rest of the party to get even more vile and extreme. At this critically sensitive moment, where antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hate threaten to spiral, Trump and his party are escalating these vile ideas and conspiracies for their own cynical political reasons. Seemingly any topic is turning into a Republican excuse to spread dark and incendiary rhetoric about migrants, asylum seekers, and the border. It is loathsome and dangerous. There are downstream consequences when political leaders are implicitly or explicitly calling for violence to resist an existential threat. It also moves us farther from real solutions, such as Jim Jordan’s latest extreme and unworkable demands that we incarcerate every single migrant and asylum seeker encountered at the border, which he is making as part of his push for the Speaker of the House gavel and as a demand for keeping the U.S. government open and working for the American people.”
As Miles Klee writes in Rolling Stone, “Trump and MAGA Allies Push Conspiracy Theory About Hamas Crossing Southern Border,” noting:
“Donald Trump and far-right allies are using the crisis to push a familiar anti-immigration narrative back home. According to MAGA world, Hamas won’t stop at launching a surprise attack on Israel from Gaza — they’ve also infiltrated the U.S. via the Mexican border.
‘The same people that raided Israel are pouring into our once beautiful USA, through our TOTALLY OPEN SOUTHERN BORDER, at Record Numbers,’ Trump claimed without evidence on his Truth Social platform Monday morning. ‘Are they planning an attack within our Country? Crooked Joe Biden and his BOSS, Barack Hussein Obama, did this to us!’”
Where the leader goes, others follow – promoting baseless conspiracies that court hate and division. It’s political disinformation designed to exploit pain, sow chaos and heighten fear of immigrants, and includes specific calls for preparing for potential violence. Among the worst examples we have seen from the past few days include:
- Rep. Keith Self (R-TX) spread disinformation about an “open border” to fearmonger about “sleeper cells,” writing: “Biden’s open border is a DREAM for Hamas and Hezbollah brutal barbarians. How many sleeper cells are plotting now inside America thanks to Joe Biden?” The fearmongering wild speculation about “sleeper cells” was also echoed by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ).
- Breitbart reported that Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) stated, “Americans must remain vigilant and prepared to defend ourselves and our families since Joe Biden has opened our southern border and we have no idea who has crossed into our country. The Second Amendment is the great safeguard of liberty & security. Never give up your 2A rights.” Breitbart added that Donald Trump Jr. said on Twitter/X, “If you don’t yet own an AR-15 you really need to think that through right about now.”
- Others like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, peddled the deadly white nationalist “invasion” conspiracy in response to the attack, writing: “What happened to Israel could happen to America. We have been invaded by aliens from over 160 different countries.”