Trump claims (without evidence) that Dems are behind migrant caravan ahead of midterms

President Donald Trump on Thursday seized on a new migrant caravan approaching the US to frame the midterm e...

Posted: Oct 19, 2018 10:04 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2018 10:04 PM

President Donald Trump on Thursday seized on a new migrant caravan approaching the US to frame the midterm elections as a fight over border security while blaming Democrats, without evidence, of supporting the influx.

"It's going to be an election of the caravan," Trump said at a campaign rally in Missoula, Montana. "You know what I'm talking about."

Central America

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Honduras

Immigration

Immigration, citizenship and displacement

International relations and national security

Latin America

Midterm elections

North America

Political Figures - US

Politics

The Americas

United States

Government bodies and offices

Political organizations

Undocumented immigrants

US Democratic Party

US federal government

US political parties

White House

Deportation

Immigration politics

Political platforms and issues

Border control

International relations

National security

Territorial and national borders

In an extended riff about illegal immigration and the caravan, Trump told the crowd that Democrats were banking on the caravan to arrive before Election Day so they could vote for Democrats -- even though as asylum-seekers, they wouldn't be citizens and therefore would not be able to vote in the congressional elections.

"As you know, I'm willing to send the military to defend our southern border if necessary, all 'cause -- because of the illegal immigration onslaught brought by the Democrats because they refuse to acknowledge or to change the laws," he said. "They like it. They also figure everybody coming in is going to vote Democrat, you know. Hey, they're not so stupid when you think about it, right?"

Trump has repeatedly accused the Democrats of wanting "open borders," though he hasn't provided evidence for that claim. Although Democrats typically call for more relaxed policies toward undocumented immigrants, major party officials still advocate for some measure of regulation and security at the border. President Barack Obama was dubbed the "deporter in chief" among some immigrant advocacy groups for steps his administration took, and more than 2.4 million people were deported during his administration.

Responding to Trump's rally on Friday, Sen. Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, compared Obama's efforts to assist Central America to stem illegal immigration to Trump's actions.

"They almost want there to be an immigration challenge because they are looking for some way to create something to frighten the American people during an election," Merkley told CNN's John Berman "New Day."

Trump slams US laws

Trump also claimed that "if a foot hits the ground" -- if an undocumented immigrant sets foot on US soil -- the US is powerless to deport them, even though his administration has aggressively sent thousands of undocumented immigrants back to their home countries.

"A foot hits the ground -- you know, if a foot hits the ground, we're not allowed to say 'Hey, go back.' Every other country in the world, they say go back. 'Can't come in, sorry.' A foot hits the ground, we have to, by law, with these horrible people that are making their own rules having nothing to do with our Constitution," Trump said, apparently referring to Democrats.

"We have to take those people in even if they are criminals. And we have hardened criminals coming in. You think those people are perfect? They're not perfect. We have some bad people coming in, and by law, we have to take them in and then we have to -- it's called 'catch and release,' you ever hear this one?"

"Catch and release" refers to the fact that many undocumented immigrants end up living in the US for years because of a deeply backlogged immigration court system. When deportable immigrants are arrested, some go into mandatory detention but some must be released as the US can only physically detain about 40,000 immigrants at a time. Many immigrants deemed not to be flight risks and not dangerous have been released on their own recognizance or with monitoring technology.

Adding more immigration judges could alleviate the backlog, though Trump has questioned the process of immigrants going through the court system and has called for deportations without "judges or court cases."

At one point Thursday, Trump said he was "taking full blame" for illegal immigration because he has "created such an incredible economy" that was attractive to non-citizens.

An election about 'law and order'

This week, Trump, who has made combating illegal immigration a cornerstone of his political career, has pointed to the caravan making its way from Honduras as part of his efforts to galvanize Republicans ahead of the midterms.

He said Thursday the midterms represented "an election of (newly minted Supreme Court Justice Brett) Kavanaugh, the caravan, law and order, and common sense."

"That's what it's going to be," he said.

Trump has threatened on Twitter to cut money and aid to Honduras if the caravan was not "stopped and brought back" and has broadened his warnings to include other Central American nations as well.

The Honduran migrants, trekking in a caravan toward Mexico's southern border, say they're headed for the United States to flee violence and searching for economic opportunity. The US has leaned on Mexico to stop them before they reach the US border.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 343505

Reported Deaths: 7543
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds23932444
DeSoto23229283
Harrison20527329
Rankin15411291
Jackson15232252
Madison10959227
Lee10719179
Jones9047169
Forrest8723159
Lauderdale7884244
Lowndes7054151
Lamar702989
Lafayette6548124
Washington5595139
Pearl River5196152
Bolivar4954134
Oktibbeha494398
Panola4771112
Warren4728128
Marshall4701106
Pontotoc447773
Union433279
Monroe4330137
Neshoba4281181
Hancock428088
Lincoln4176116
Pike3667113
Leflore3627125
Tate353388
Alcorn350974
Sunflower347694
Scott341176
Adams340988
Yazoo339376
Copiah324968
Simpson322891
Itawamba314680
Coahoma314085
Tippah306568
Prentiss298863
Covington293484
Leake285475
Marion284181
Wayne277543
George272251
Grenada269488
Newton262364
Tishomingo239770
Winston236784
Jasper230648
Stone229637
Attala226373
Chickasaw219060
Holmes200174
Clay197654
Clarke186880
Tallahatchie183742
Calhoun181332
Smith179235
Yalobusha171540
Walthall145748
Lawrence142826
Greene140134
Amite137543
Noxubee135235
Perry133538
Montgomery133044
Carroll126431
Webster121232
Jefferson Davis116734
Tunica114227
Benton106725
Claiborne105331
Kemper102429
Humphreys100133
Franklin87923
Quitman84719
Choctaw82619
Wilkinson78032
Jefferson71328
Sharkey51618
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 587405

Reported Deaths: 11536
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson853851591
Mobile48932864
Madison37517533
Shelby27280257
Tuscaloosa27171465
Montgomery26172627
Baldwin25399329
Lee17224181
Calhoun15401334
Morgan15170291
Etowah14954370
Marshall13116235
Houston12077293
Elmore10915219
St. Clair10763252
Limestone10725158
Cullman10546205
Lauderdale10255254
DeKalb9508192
Talladega8949188
Walker7793288
Autauga7563114
Jackson7400117
Blount7362139
Colbert6703142
Coffee6365132
Dale5650117
Russell480243
Chilton4771117
Covington4749125
Franklin458181
Tallapoosa4519156
Escambia441383
Chambers3949125
Dallas3743163
Clarke371263
Marion3463107
Pike332579
Lawrence3263100
Winston298773
Bibb290465
Geneva283983
Marengo262467
Barbour250961
Pickens245562
Butler240872
Hale235578
Fayette227065
Henry213945
Monroe202141
Randolph201144
Cherokee199248
Washington185239
Macon170552
Crenshaw168358
Clay166259
Cleburne161345
Lamar151038
Lowndes145455
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh121332
Coosa118329
Perry110528
Sumter110333
Greene99137
Choctaw64425
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 80°
Columbus
Mostly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 72°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 81°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 72°
The heat wave that controlled our area over the past several days is now behind us. The forecast for the next week looks a bit cooler & less humid.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather