In a series of rallies earlier this month, President Trump restated his anti-immigration stance, specifically focusing on illegal immigration and the migrant caravan moving towards the United States from Central America.
Caravans Become The Target Of Anti-Migrant Sentiment
President Trump, in recent rallies in Indiana during early November, railed against the movement of migrant caravans headed towards the United States. He specifically used references about the migrant caravans in several attacks at Democrats, stating that Democrats want caravans “full of illegal aliens to flood into our country.”
The comments came during the president’s campaigns for the Republican party leading up to the mid-term elections, during which a large number of Democrats were elected to seats in the House. Trump centered many of his arguments around immigration policy, continuing to cite his desire to build a wall on America’s southern border.
He also emphasized his own efforts to regulate and reduce immigration to America. In recent weeks, Trump has allegedly instructed border patrol agents to respond to rocks thrown at them “as firearms,” suggesting an increasingly hardline approach to illegal immigration that could potentially more easily escalate to violence.
Response To Anti-Immigration Language Not Entirely As Hoped
Perhaps Trump’s words in his Indiana rally may not have been the most well-chosen for the audience; the American Immigration Council reports that about 10% of the people living in Indiana are either immigrants or the children of immigrants. President Trump’s reliance on anti-immigration sentiment and policy may, in fact, be alienating the exact people he is attempting to reach. In several states, Trump’s anti-immigration language has been alienating more moderate conservatives, who are pushed to more Democratic leanings by the rhetoric.
In a modern United States where immigrants make up approximately 13% of the total population, President Trump’s harsh stance on immigration may be turning people against him in ways he is not expecting. His approval rate continues to drop, and the results of the 2018 midterms suggest that perhaps this rhetoric is not gaining him quite as much support as he would hope for.
While it remains to be seen how President Trump’s statements will translate into direct policy with regards to the continuing migrant caravans, it is clear that his stance is unlikely to change. It is difficult to say what this will mean for America’s immigrant population, though it is likely that whatever policies are formed, if any, will see considerable debate and discussion as they arise.