Donald Trump
Trump made his way to Las Vegas this weekend for his first rally as a convicted felon, where he continued to wield anti-immigration rhetoric. AFP

Following his historic hush-money trial and posterior conviction in New York City, former President and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump made his way to Las Vegas for his first campaign rally as a convicted felon.

During the event, which took place six miles from the Las Vegas Strip, Trump called Nevada, a key battleground state, a "dumping ground" for unauthorized immigrants and slammed President Joe Biden for unleashing a "nightmare" through his border policies that he argued were "totally destroying" Black and Hispanic Americans."

"We're not going to let them destroy our country," Trump said.

The former President continued broadly depicting migrants crossing the border illegally as violent criminals or mentally ill people, and then recited "The Snake," a standby poem he has used since 2016 to expound on the threat that he believes undocumented immigrants pose to the country, The New York Times reported.

This is no new imagery from Trump. Throughout the campaign trail, he has repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that foreign countries all over the world are emptying their prisons and mental institutions in a deliberate effort to offload people into the United States. He has also said migrants are fueling a crime wave and hail from "the dungeons of the Third World."

The rally came just days after President Biden announced a sweeping executive order on immigration to close the U.S.-Mexico border when border crossings exceed 2,500 people a day. But despite vouching for anti-immigration policies throughout his rallies, Trump dismissed Biden's order, claiming it is weak and ineffective.

According to the former President, the executive order is "pro-invasion, pro-child trafficking, pro-women trafficking, pro-human trafficking, pro-drug dealers and all the deaths they bring and pro-illegal immigration." He raised instances of violent crimes allegedly committed by people unauthorized to be living in the U.S.

Over the weekend, Trump's campaign also formally announced its Latino outreach effort, Latino Americans for Trump.

In response, the Biden campaign's Hispanic media director, Maca Casado, ridiculed the initiative in a statement, saying "all we saw today was a wannabe dictator spouting his trademark hatred for our community."

Nevada has a large Hispanic population, and polls show that Trump's support among the state's working-class and Latino voters is increasing. His campaign is trying to capitalize on dissatisfaction among those groups with Biden's handling of the economy.

Linda Fornos, a naturalized citizen who immigrated from Nicaragua endorsed Trump at the rally. She said that she voted for Biden in 2020, but was disappointed with his administration. "For many years, I believed in the promises of the Democrats for more opportunities for the Latino community," she said. Now, she sees the U.S. as a house taking in rule-breaking strangers.

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