Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump AFP

Former President Donald Trump is seeking to capitalize on Americans' concern over the surge in unauthorized immigration situation even far away from the border, the latest example being a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

There, Trump dubbed the event "Biden's Border Bloodbath," even printing it in the lectern from which he addressed the audience. "Under Crooked Joe Biden, every state is now a border state," the former President said during a passage of his speech.

But the campaign stop didn't seem chosen at random. Fox News highlighted that it came a few days after the murder of Ruby Garcia, allegedly at the hands of an unlawful immigrant who had been deported to Mexico in 2020 but returned the the U.S.

Speaking about Garcia's death, which has been a salient issue in conservative media over the past days, Trump said that should he had been President "this monster would have been deported, thrown out of the country."

Police say Garcia was in a romantic relationship with the alleged perpetrator, Brandon Ortiz-Vite. He told authorities he shot her multiple times. "It's going to end on the day that I take office, which will be Jan. 20," Trump added.

Republicans have put their focus on events of this nature, seeking to advance their argument about the danger that the surge in immigration poses to the country. In late February, Georgia Republicans pushed a bill that would require state police to detain and deport all undocumented migrants following the killing of a nursing student suspectedly at the hands of a Venezuelan who crossed the border unlawfully in 2022.

Migrants await processing by immigration authorities after crossing the US-Mexico border in Eagle Pass, Texas, December 20, 2023

However, statistics have not shown this. Alex Nowrasteh, vice president for economic and social policy studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, wrote in USA Today earlier this month that "undocumented migrants in Texas were about 26% less likely to be convicted of homicide than native-born Americans over the decade of 2013-22.

A similar study published in 2020 by professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who analyzed Texas DPS data from 2012 to 2018 and found that "relative to undocumented immigrants, U.S.-born citizens are over two times more likely to be arrested for violent crimes, 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes, and over four times more likely to be arrested for property crimes.

Nonetheless, immigration still ranks atop of Americans' concerns according to a new pollconducted by Gallup. Concretely, immigration topped the list in one of the survey's categories: when asked to name, unprompted, what they believe is the most important problem facing the country today, 28% mentioned immigration.

It was the same figure as in February, tying it for a historic high ever since the pollster started including the issue in 1981. Another salient data point is the fact that immigration has jumped in importance for a large number of people lately, considering that the figure was 20% in January of this year.

Trump's rhetoric, then, is not surprising, also considering that more than two in three Americans disapprove of the job President Joe Biden is currently doingt the border, according to a new poll by The Associated Press and NORC.

Concretely, 68% of respondents gave said answer, although the partisan divide is predictably much higher, with 56% of Democrats approving of Biden's job and only 9% of Republicans doing so. The figure was extremely high for independents, as only 20% gave that answer.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.