Trump, Republicans step up anti-migrant hate campaign

In appearances Tuesday before a closed-door audience in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a public rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, fascist ex-president Donald Trump intensified his hate campaign directed at immigrants.

Ex-President Donald Trump speaks during a rally Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, in Reno, Nevada. [AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez]

He defended his previous references to migrants as “animals.” This was combined with warning that migrants were destroying America. “This is country-changing, it’s country-threatening, and it’s country-wrecking,” he said.

Trump claimed that President Joe Biden has instituted an “open borders” policy, even though the current anti-migrant regime at the US-Mexico border is a continuation of the savage, anti-democratic policies carried out under the Trump administration. He branded “Joe Biden’s border bloodbath” as the cause of rape, murder and the spread of deadly drugs like fentanyl.

The campaign swing through Michigan and Wisconsin, both expected to be closely contested in November, was Trump’s first since he clinched the Republican nomination with the exit of his last remaining opponent, former UN Ambassador and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley.

In Michigan, Trump addressed an invitation-only group of Republican officeholders and police, with press reporters allowed to attend as well. In Wisconsin, the rally was open to the public but poorly attended. The Green Bay Press-Gazette and the local NBC affiliate both reported a crowd in the hundreds, with turnout affected both by heavy snow and by primary day in Wisconsin.

The fascistic character of the speech was demonstrated in repeated denunciations of Marxism and characterizing his opponents as “communists.” Added to this was open antisemitism, not only in his usual references to “globalists,” a code word for Jews among white supremacists, but in his declaration that election day, November 5, “will be called something else. Christian visibility day. When Christians turn out in numbers no one has ever seen before. Let’s call it Christian visibility day.”

Trump speaks of the upcoming election in increasingly apocalyptic terms, declaring, “We will drive out the globalists. We will cast out the communists. We will throw out the sick political caste. We will rout the fake news media. We will liberate our country from the tyrants and villains. We will take back our country on November 5, 2024, the most important day in the history of our country.”

He added, “This country is finished if we do not win this election. I heard someone say that if we do not win, this may be the last election our country ever has.” This comment is perhaps better interpreted as a confirmation of Trump’s own intentions if he wins.

Trump made a series of specific pledges of measures of mass repression to be instituted on the first day of his new administration if he wins the November election. This included, “the largest domestic deportation program in American history.” He also howled, “I will ask Congress to send a bill to my desk ensuring that anyone who murders a police officer will receive immediately the death penalty.”

As usual, Trump placed a flagrant fabrication at the center of his Michigan speech. He cited the killing of Ruby Garcia, a young Grand Rapids woman, whose body was recently found on the side of a major highway. Police have charged 25-year-old Brandon Ortiz-Vite with the murder, describing him as a former boyfriend. Ortiz-Vite came to the United States from Mexico as a child, and was protected under the DACA program until he was deported in 2020. He returned “illegally” to the country where he has lived most of his life.

Trump claimed to have been in contact with the family, suggesting that they were in agreement with his denunciation of “migrant crime.” But Garcia’s sister Mavi, speaking for the family, said this was not true. “He did not speak with any of us, so it was kind of shocking seeing that he had said that he had spoken with us, and misinforming people on live TV,” she told a local television station.

“Nobody really speaks about when Americans do heinous crimes, and it’s kind of shocking why he would just bring up illegals,” she continued. “What about Americans who do heinous crimes like that?”

The Republican National Committee added its voice to the barrage of invective against migrants. It launched a website with the URL bidenbloodbath.com, which is headlined, “A VOTE FOR BIDEN IS A VOTE FOR AN INVASION.” The statement declares that a vote for the incumbent president “is a vote to allow criminals to invade our nation and attack Americans.”

The website goes on to state, in screaming all-caps, “THERE IS BLOOD ON BIDEN’S HANDS.” This does not refer to the real crimes of the Biden administration, including all-out support for Israeli genocide in Gaza and the instigation and escalation of the US-NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. Instead, it refers to the phony claims that “migrant crime” is sweeping America, although far fewer immigrants in percentage terms face criminal charges than US citizens.

The response of the Democratic Party to Trump’s single-minded focus on demonizing migrants has been to follow suit, albeit at lower volume and with less openly provocative rhetoric.

The Democratic congresswoman from Grand Rapids, Hillary Scholten, said that Trump was expressing legitimate public fears. “When you see someone who is killed in our community and you recognize that there was a person here who did that who shouldn’t have been here, you’re right to question our system of keeping Americans safe,” she said.

Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow repeated the line of the Biden White House and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who have denounced Trump for pressuring congressional Republicans to block an anti-immigrant bill that initially passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote.

“There are very real security concerns at the border, and on February 7th of this year, Senate Republicans had a chance to vote for a tough, effective, bipartisan bill to address those challenges,” she said. “Fifty-five days later, we’re still waiting for that bill to pass,” adding that Trump “told them to stop the bill.”