Mere hours after Donald Trump promised to always tell the truth to the American people, his campaign launched its first ad of the general election; it’s a negative smear full of lies and thinly veiled racial animus. But what did we expect from the man who demeaned Mexicans as rapists and criminals? From his weeks long racial tirade against Judge Gonzalo Curiel to his warnings that Americans need to “lock their doors” to keep safe from refugees, Trump’s entire campaign has been built upon stoking racial fear and division.
Today’s ad demonstrates that despite a revolving door of campaign managers and senior staff, Trump isn’t changing. Making false claims about his opponent and citing discredited and racist lies from a known hate group show that Trump is still Trump: a temperamentally unfit demagogue whose immigration proposals stoke fears, seek to divide families, and would kill 4 million jobs.
|Trump Claim: Illegal Immigrants “Convicted Of Committing Crimes” Would Get To Stay. According to The Hill, “Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s first campaign ad of the general election says Hillary Clinton’s immigration policies stack the deck against voters. ‘In Hillary Clinton’s America, the system stays rigged against Americas,’ the narrator says in the clip released Friday. ‘Syrian refugees flood in. Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay, collecting Social Security benefits, skipping the line. Our border open, it’s more of the same, but worse.’” [Hill,8/19/16]
Trump Source: [NBC News, 7/9/16]
|CNN: Trump’s Claim That Illegal Immigrant Convicted Of Crimes Would Get To Stay Under Clinton’s Plan Was “Not True.” [CNN Live, 8/19/16]
Clinton: “My Priorities Are To Deport Violent Criminals” And “Anyone Who Threatens Our Safety.” According to Washington Post – Univision Democratic Debate, “CLINTON: But if you are asking about everyone who is already here, undocumented immigrants, the 11-12 million who are living here, my priorities are to deport violent criminals, terrorists, and anyone who threatens our safety. So I do not have the same policy as the current administration does. I think it’s important that we move to our comprehensive immigration reform, but at the same time, stop the raids, stop the round-ups, stop the deporting of people who are living here doing their lives, doing their jobs, and that’s my priority.” [Washington Post, 3/9/16]
Washington Post: Trump’s Connection Between Undocumented Immigration And Crime Was ‘Unsupported.’ According to Washington Post, ‘But Trump’s comments about the undocumented immigrants ‘pouring in’ across the southern border and doing ‘tremendous damage’ to crime rates are worthy of Four Pinocchios. The flow of undocumented immigrants has fallen to the lowest level in at least two decades. Further, Trump continues to draw an unsupported correlation between undocumented Mexican immigrants and a crime wave coming across the southern border. Overall, the immigration claims in the ad average out to Three Pinocchios.’ [Washington Post, 2/15/15]
Trump Used “Anecdotal Evidence” To Connect Illegal Immigration To Violent Crimes, But Data Showed The “Vast Majority Of Unauthorized Immigrants Do Not Fit The Description Of Aggravated Felons.” According to Washington Post, “One of Trump’s go-to anecdotes about the dangers of illegal immigration is that of Jamiel Shaw Jr., a 17-year-old football star who was killed in 2008 by a gang member who was in the country illegally. Shaw’s father has appeared in an ad for Trump, and supports Trump’s proposal to deport all ‘criminal aliens,’ who are noncitizens convicted of a crime. Clearly, stories like these exist. Trump has used anecdotes as evidence to connect illegal immigration and violent crimes, and Shaw’s father also made this point on Monday night. Yet the vast majority of unauthorized immigrants do not fit the description of aggravated felons, whose crimes include murder. For example, homicides are a small percentage of the crimes committed by noncitizens, whether they are in the United States illegally or not. The U.S. Sentencing Commission tracks citizenship of offenders in federal prisons by primary offense, which is the offense with the longest maximum sentence when a person is convicted of multiple offenses. Of the 74,911 primary offenses in fiscal 2014, 31,432 (42 percent) were by noncitizens. The majority of their cases (66.2 percent) were immigration offenses. There were 11 out of 75 murder offenses attributed to noncitizens. This is only a snapshot, as federal prisoners made up 9.5 percent of the total incarcerated population in 2014.” [Washington Post, 7/19/16]
|Trump Claim: Hillary Clinton Would Allow An Open Border. According to The Hill, “In Hillary Clinton’s America, the system stays rigged against Americas,’ the narrator says in the clip released Friday. ‘Syrian refugees flood in. Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay, collecting Social Security benefits, skipping the line. Our border open, it’s more of the same, but worse.’” [Hill,8/19/16]
Trump Source: [Center For Immigration Studies, 4/14/16; HillaryClinton.com, “Issues” Immigration Reform.”]
|Politifact: It Was “False” To Say Hillary Clinton “Is For Open Borders.” According to Politifact, “Giuliani said, ‘Hillary Clinton is for open borders.’ Clinton supported a 2013 bill that would have invested billions in border security in addition to a path to citizenship. As a presidential candidate she has called for securing the border and targeting deportation to criminals and those who pose security threats. While her plan would make it easier for many undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation, that’s not the same as allowing a free-for-all at the border and ending enforcement. We rate this claim False.” [Politifact, 6/18/16]
FactCheck.com: Clinton Voted For Legislation That Created A Path To Citizenship, But It Also Would Have Increased Border Security. According to FactCheck, “CLEVELAND — The 2016 Republican National Convention opened with the first day’s theme ‘Make America Safe Again.’ But in some cases the facts weren’t safe from distortion: […]Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Michael McCaul both wrongly claimed that Hillary Clinton supports ‘open borders.’ She supported a bill that would have created a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally, but it also would have increased border security.” [FactCheck, 7/19/16]