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Trump and Allies’ Exploit Tragedies, Lie About Facts Regarding Immigrants and Crime, Continue Dangerous Theme

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Washington, DC — This weekend, Donald Trump proposed a UFC style migrant fighting league, saying immigrants were “tough,” “come from prisons” and are “nasty, mean.” While this dehumanizing rhetoric was false and disturbing, less appreciated was the even more sordid focus from Trump and right wing allies on advancing the larger racist dog-whistle “migrant killing” narrative. 

In social media posts, rally speeches, interviews and – we expect – on the presidential debate stage, Trump and allies are highlighting horrific but isolated crimes allegedly committed by immigrants and using those incidents to blame and attack President Biden and advance a larger false narrative that links immigrants and crime – a classic example of strategic racism and one at odds with the real facts. For example, over the weekend, Dr. Kevin Roberts, president of the conservative Heritage Foundation (author of the notorious Project 2025), appeared on MSNBC and said: “we need to have the biggest mass deportation system ever … a lot of them are committing crimes like murdering the 12 year old girl in Houston.” 

For more context, read Greg Sargent in The New Republic, “Trump Just Revealed How He’ll Attack Biden at Debate—and It’s Vile.

The following is a statement from Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“Donald Trump and his allies are trying to exploit real tragedies and divide us with fear and coded racial language. This is not about making the American people safer. In fact, the dehumanizing and conspiratorial rhetoric is fueling threats to public safety. 

Using tragic, horrific crimes for attempted political gain is an ugly tactic with a sordid history designed to tar all immigrants and Latinos with isolated incidents of a few. It also seeks to advance a narrative that migrants and asylum seekers are dangerous threats when the facts demonstrate otherwise (see study after study, and study, and study showing the clear facts: immigrants have lower crime rates than the rest of the population).

Any murder is a tragedy, and all perpetrators should be held fully accountable to the extent of the law. 

While President Biden is working to deal with the reality of who immigrants really are and proposing policies and reforms to have them work legally, Trump is serving up drivel and stirring up fear, advancing strategic racism and trying to make sure realistic solutions on immigration are harder to achieve.”

Read Greg Sargent in The New Republic, “Trump Just Revealed How He’ll Attack Biden at Debate—and It’s Vile,” noting, “He’s going to pin ‘migrant killings’ on Biden. It’s false, and here’s how Biden should respond.”