Donald Trump.
Former President Donald Trump. Creative Commons

Former President Donald Trump has doubled down on his comments about immigrants "destroying the blood of our country," repeating the remarks on different occasions and rejecting comparisons with language used by Adolf Hitler in his book "Mein Kampf."

The rhetoric has gone back to the spotlight since the weekend, after Trump made comments of the kind during a rally in New Hampshire on Saturday. "They let — I think the real number is 15, 16 million people into our country. When they do that, we got a lot of work to do. They're poisoning the blood of our country," he said.

He repeated the claim on his social media, Truth Social, hours later: "Illegal immigration is poisoning the blood of our nation. They're coming from prisons, from mental institutions — from all over the world."

The statements drew criticism from Democrats and some Republican lawmakers, with Senator Susan Collins, from Maine, saying they were "horrible." Her colleague Mike Round said it was "unacceptable rhetoric" but said "this administration's policies are feeding right into it."

Presidential candidate and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also used the comments to target Trump: "He's disgusting, and what he's doing is dog-whistling to Americans who feel absolutely under stress and strain from the economy and from the conflicts around the world, and he's dog-whistling it to blame it on people from areas that don't look like us," he told CNN.

The Biden re-election campaign, on its end, compared the statements to language used by Hitler, considering he had also used the term "blood poisoning" in "Mein Kampf."

"(Trump) channeled his role models as he parroted Adolf Hitler, praised Kim Jong Un, and quoted Vladimir Putin while running for president on a promise to rule as a dictator and threaten American democracy," said Biden campaign spokesperson Ammar Moussa during the weekend.

Trump, however, dismissed the criticism, saying on Tuesday night that he had never read Mein Kampf. NBC News recalled that in a 1990 article, "Vanity Fair reported that Trump's ex-wife Ivana Trump said that Trump kept an anthology of Hitler's speeches called My New Order in a cabinet beside his bed."

Trump said back then that a friend of his had given him a copy of the book. The person in question said the book was My New Order, not Mein Kampf, and that he gave it to Trump because he thought he would find it "interesting." "If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them," Trump told Vanity Fair."

Border security has become a flashpoint of the campaign and the political agenda, with both parties negotiating tougher immigration measures as part of a broader aid package including funding for Ukraine and Israel.

Migrants near the US southern border
Migration to the US keeps breaking records AFP

The issue has broad support, with almost three quarter of American voters saying they back increased security as the number of migrants reaching the country continues to break records.

According to a NBC News national poll released on Tuesday, 74 percent of all people surveyed agreed with the need to bolster funding for this purpose. The figures, however, varied depending on the voters' political affiliation. 93 percent of Republicans were in favor, contrasting with 58 percent of Democrats. Independents, meanwhile, clocked in at 74 percent.

According to Customs and Border Protection data, over 3.2 million people arrived in the United States in fiscal year 2023, including people with a legal status and those apprehended for illegally crossing the border. Most of those who were apprehended were nationals of Western Hemisphere countries.

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