Donald Trump back in court
As presumptive GOP candidate Donald Trump intensifies his immigration rhetoric, some conservative organizations denounce the use of the term "invasion" AFP

NEW YORK CITY - As immigration continues to be a salient issue ahead of the 2024 general elections, Republicans have intensified their rhetoric against newcomers. But despite their campaign messaging— the most intense of which is being shared by presumptive GOP candidate Donald Trump— one particular term seems to be dividing the party, according to The Hill.

The term "invasion" has become a prime example of Republican rhetoric ahead of November, but its use as a descriptor for the current migrant crisis has been panned as inaccurate and incendiary, even by groups including the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUS and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

The three groups were directly or indirectly founded by John Tanton, a Michigan ophthalmologist who promoted an unorthodox vision of population control and environmentalism through reduced immigration that's been widely panned as eugenist, according to The Hill.

The network groups are partially funded by the Colcom Foundation, which calls for immigration restrictions so "the U.S. can stabilize and gradually decrease its population, thereby shrinking its ecological footprint."

During the Trump years, they were known for providing much of the ideology and the inside knowledge that that administration used to restructure the immigration system, the outlet added.

Now, as an unprecedented influx of migrants has entered the U.S. through the southern border, these groups— who for so long promoted immigration restriction— are publicly denouncing the painting of an alleged invasion by foreigners.

"There's two questions here: one is whether it constitutes an actual invasion," said Eric Ruark, director of research at NumbersUSA. "The first part is, it's hard to argue that it's an invasion when they're being invited in, right? Number one, people aren't showing up to the border armed."

The second part deals with the increased tensions between migrants and the Border Patrol. "There's not widespread assaults, they're not you know — they're turning themselves in, they're getting fingerprinted and then they're being released even though they're inadmissible, but it doesn't constitute something that would be called an invasion, in our opinion," he said.

Regardless of their ideas, the Tanton networks don't engage in the political use of invasion language and don't disavow politicians who use it but do remain wary of potential fallout, The Hill reports.

Other organizations outside the Tanton network feel an inaccurate depiction of the current situation through the use of the term "invasion." Some are particularly worried about the potential hate and violence using such terms may bring.

"They're off their rocker and they're doing damage to the country, not just in terms of the policy, but in terms of their rhetoric — and it's not a coincidence that the El Paso shooter, the Buffalo shooter, the Pittsburgh shooter... all cited invasion rhetoric in their pre-shooting spree manifestos and social media posts," said Mario H. Lopez, president of the conservative Hispanic Leadership Fund and a longtime critic of the Tanton network.

Other Republicans, however, egged on by former President Trump, who's been using the term in the immigration context since at least 2018, are all in on calling migration "an invasion."

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), a potential Trump running mate, on Friday used the term in a social media post blaming President Biden for the number of people who have entered the United States through the southwest border.

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