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The Border Wall that Washed Away and Left a Wake of Destruction? The GOP Wants to Do More of the Same and Name the Wall After Donald Trump. Perfect.

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Rick Scott blueprint captures ugly GOP motivations, whitewashing of Trump’s failed war on immigrants

Washington, DC – A new political blueprint from Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), outlines Republicans’ election messaging for 2022. Among the sections of the “11 Point Plan to Rescue America” is an immigration and border section calling to “secure our border, finish building the wall, and name it after President Donald Trump.”

That’s right. An unpopular, costly and ineffective border wall championed by a President who couldn’t think much past a rally chant is the centerpiece of GOP policy on immigration. Trump’s real immigration and border record was not just cruel, but also chaotic and a strategic failure. Trump destroyed workable policies and gutted any semblance of a functioning immigration and asylum system all the while stoking fear and mainstreaming xenophobia. At the center of it all was a 12th century proposal that was designed to flip off Latin America and lie that Mexico would end up paying for the wall. 

Here are a few reminders:

  • The Trump administration was cruel, chaotic and obsessed with short-term deterrence. Trump and Stephen Miller gutted aid to Central America that was aimed at reducing migration. They ended the program that allowed Central American minors to apply for protection in the region so they wouldn’t have to make the perilous journey to the U.S./Mexico border in the first place. They dismantled the refugee program that could have enabled those fleeing for their lives from applying for refugee status from the region. They strong-armed allies and neighbors to deter asylum-seekers from exercising their legal right to apply for refugee status in America. They deliberately wrecked the asylum system to claim it was being abused. See more here on how Trump and Miller gutted workable policies.
  • Biden’s real border record looks different than GOP attacks. The GOP’s “open borders” attack lines against Democrats neglect the following realities: almost 80% of the people “encountered” at the border are detained or expelled; for the 20% released, almost all show up in court; and many “encounters” are multi-counted, as those immediately expelled frequently are encountered again later by CBP. See more at this America’s Voice analysis of the “open borders” lie at heart of GOP attack strategy.
  • The GOP border attacks on Biden started when Trump was in office. Even before President Biden took office, Republicans and rightwing media started their “open borders” attacks on Biden and tried to whitewash the real Trump record. For example, former Acting ICE Director Tom Homan was on Fox News in August 2020 blaming Biden for a 40% increase in border crossings. That’s right. Three months before the 2020 election and five months before Biden took office, a Trump lackey is on Fox blaming Biden for an increase in border apprehensions happening during Trump’s presidency. 

According to Mario Carrillo, Campaigns Manager of America’s Voice:

The Republicans want to name the border wall after Donald Trump – a wall that is breached by ladders, that washed away in sections, that destroyed the landscape, that displaced homeowners, that led to hundreds of lawsuits, and that wasted billions of dollars. 

This is a perfect encapsulation of Trump, his destructive presidency and the continued GOP loyalty to a failed president. Instead of confronting Trump’s extremism and incompetence, the party is whitewashing his chaos and cruelty on immigration and at the border. 

Instead of solutions, Republicans want cheap stunts, MAGA loyalty contests, and failed deterrence policies. But it’s on-brand for a GOP that is now a post-policy party, entirely focused on white grievance politics and quite comfortable embracing racist conspiracy theories, dangerous consequences be damned, and stoking fear about immigrants in an attempt to retake power.

Additional Background

  • Check out ongoing examples of Republicans’ anti-immigrant ads at the America’s Voice GOP Ad Tracker: http://gopadtracker.com/