The video currently pinned on President Donald Trump’s Twitter page features trial footage of an undocumented immigrant who was convicted of murder, interspersed with unlabeled images of masses of people pushing down walls and one individual admitting to a felony charge.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2018
According to the Washington Post, Luis Bracamontes, the man in the trial footage, was deported twice and ultimately given the death penalty in 2014 for murdering two police officers in California.
The video, peppered with phrases like “Democrats let him into our country” and “President Donald Trump and Republicans are making America safe again,” is being widely decried as racist and xenophobic.
It’s even being unfavorably compared to the Willie Horton ad of former President George H. W. Bush’s campaign, in which Bush painted Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis as “soft on crime” by connecting him to a horrific story of a black criminal who raped a white woman and stabbed her white fiancee while on furlough from prison.
That ad, paid for by a PAC associated with the Bush campaign, is considered a classic example of racist dog whistling.
From a CNBC reporter:
as you recall, Bush campaign distanced itself from the Willie Horton TV ad
this is coming directly from the President of the United States
from dog whistle to guttural scream https://t.co/a5UOILF5KK
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) October 31, 2018
From a ProPublica editor:
Thirty years ago, George H.W. Bush released his infamous fear-mongering, racist ad on Willie Horton.
This Trump ad is worse. Far worse. https://t.co/jLFbhU8FLs
— Eric Umansky (@ericuman) November 1, 2018
Trump has committed to immigration-based scare tactics to gin up enthusiasm from his GOP base in this final week before the midterms, making it a focal point of all of his campaign rallies and bringing up his desire to eradicate constitutionally-protected birthright citizenship by executive order.
He as also sent a massive convoy of soldiers to the U.S.-Mexico border, to stoke fear of a “caravan” of immigrants from Central America currently trying to make the journey to America. The group is still about 1,000 miles away, and legally seeking asylum as they flee from the violence and devastating poverty of their home countries. Trump and his administration have floated blocking the immigrants from applying for asylum.