A caravan of about 7,000 would-be immigrants into the US making its way through Mexico, October 2018


Donald Trump tries to whip up support for Republicans in November 6 Congressional elections, with a combination of anti-immigrant and racist language invoking “mobs” threatening America.

Trump put out a series of tweets on Monday before an evening rally in Texas, berating a caravans of would-be immigrants — many of them asylum-seekers — moving through Central America towards the US. In the most provocative, he combined hostility towards the thousands in the caravan with a racially-tinged invocation of threat in a “National Emergy”:

There is no evidence of “Middle Easterners” in the caravan, let alone dangerous people from the region.

“Trump said there are terrorists here,” said Irineo Mujica, the director of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a trans-national group that has organized the caravans. “Does he mean women? Children? The bombs must be diapers.”

However, since the bitter campaign to push through confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, despite claims of sexual assault by three women, Trump and the GOP have pursued the tactic that Democrats are threatening the US with “mobs”. Trump continued on Monday at the Texas rally for Senator Ted Cruz, facing a stiff challenge from Democrat Beto O’Rourke: “That is an assault on our country and in that caravan you have some very bad people and we can’t let that happen to our country. I think the Democrats had something to do with it.”

He continued with the threat to cut off all US aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, falsely portraying the small amount of the American aid budget as “massive”.

GOP candidates have matched Trump’s racial language by portraying an African American opponent as a “big-city rapper” and, in a race in Texas, spreaking the image of a white woman with a dark-skinned hand smothering her mouth. Two House Republicans, Chris Collins of New York and Duncan Hunter of California, both indicted on charges of corruption, have aired ads widely denounced as racist — for example, branding Hunter’s Arab American opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, as a “security risk”. The Republican candidate for Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, told voters not to “monkey this up” with a ballot for African American Democrat Andrew Gillum. Throughout 2018, Trump advisors have pressed anti-immigration policies — including the “zero tolerance” separation of children from parents, many of whom were seeking asylum, in the belief that these are vote-winners. Newt Gingrich, a Trump ally and former House Speaker, continued the line on Monday:

The caravan is an existential moment….[Opposition to immigration is] a lot bigger margin than you’re going to get in the near future on Trump’s economic policy.

About 7,000 people are estimated to be making their way through Mexico. Conservative media, including Trump’s outlet Fox, have made the story a priority in recent days. Some conspiracy theory sites like WND are portraying the caravan as one with Islamic terrorists, financed by billionaire George Soros. This morning WND headlines, “Who REALLY Launched Caravan ‘Invasion’ of America?“, with polemicist Rush Limbaugh blaming — with no evidence — “rich Democrat donors”.