Trump: We will ‘build tent cities’ for migrant caravan

President Trump during an interview on Monday said that the administration is planning to “build tent cities” for the thousands of migrants seeking asylum who are heading towards the Southern border.

Trump in recent days has been stoking fears that violent gang members may be part of the so-called migrant “caravan,” which includes thousands of Central Americans fleeing violence and dire economic conditions in their home countries. The migrants are still weeks away from reaching the border.

The president during a pre-recorded interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham said the administration will “hold” the migrants who apply for asylum rather than releasing them pending their court dates, as previous administrations have done.

“If they applied for asylum, we’re going to hold them until such time as their trial takes place,” Trump told Ingraham.

“Where? We have the facilities?” she asked.

“We’re going to put up – we’re going to build tent cities,” Trump replied. “We’re going to put tents up all over the place. We’re not going to build structures and spend all of this, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars — we’re going to have tents.”

“They’re going to be very nice,” he added.

Trump has called the caravan of Central American migrants an “invasion.” He has also referred to the midterms as the election of the “caravan.”

Democrats and immigration-rights activists have accused the president of drawing on xenophobic and racist images in an effort to frighten the electorate ahead of Election Day. The migrants are still over one thousand miles away.

Ingraham during the interview asked Trump to respond to former President Obama, who denounced the president’s rhetoric about the caravan during a recent campaign event.

“Now the latest, they’re trying to convince everybody to be afraid of a bunch of impoverished, malnourished refugees a thousand miles away — that’s the thing, it’s the most important in this election?” Obama said during an event in Florida this week. “We’re scare-mongering people on the border.”

Trump responded by saying that there are people from “gangs” in the caravan. His claim has not been proven.

[The Hill]

Media

Pentagon to deploy 5,200 active duty troops to Mexico border as Trump escalates threats against migrant caravan

A week out from the midterm elections, the Pentagon said Monday it is sending 5,200 troops, some armed, to the Southwest border this week in an extraordinary military operation to stop Central American migrants traveling north in two caravans that were still hundreds of miles from the U.S. The number of troops is more than double the 2,000 who are in Syria fighting the Islamic State group.

President Donald Trump, eager to focus voters on immigration in the lead-up to the elections, stepped up his warnings about the caravans, tweeting: “This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!”

His warning came as the Pentagon began executing “Operation Faithful Patriot,” described by the commander of U.S. Northern Command as an effort to help Customs and Border Protection stiffen defenses at and near legal entry points. Advanced helicopters will allow border protection agents to swoop down on migrants trying to cross illegally, he said.

“We’re going to secure the border,” Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, the Northern Command leader, said at a news conference. He spoke alongside Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection.

Eight hundred troops already are on their way to southern Texas, O’Shaughnessy said, and their numbers will top 5,200 by week’s end. He said troops would focus first on Texas, followed by Arizona and then California.

The number of people in the first caravan has dwindled to 3,500 from about 7,000, though a second one was gaining steam and marred by violence. About 600 migrants in the second group tried to cross a bridge from Guatemala to Mexico en masse on Monday but were met by ranks of Mexican federal police who blocked them from entering. The riverbank standoff followed a more violent confrontation Sunday when the migrants used sticks and rocks against Mexico police. One migrant was killed Sunday night by a head wound, but the cause was unclear.

The first group passed through the spot via the river — wading or on rafts — and was advancing through southern Mexico. That group appeared to begin as a collection of about 160 who decided to band together in Honduras for protection against the gangs who prey on migrants traveling alone and snowballed as the group moved north. They are mostly from Honduras, where it started, as well as El Salvador and Guatemala.

Overall, they are poor, carrying the belongings that fit into a knapsack and fleeing gang violence or poverty. It’s possible there are criminals mixed in, but Trump has not substantiated his claim that members of the MS-13 gang, in particular, are among them.

The president’s dark description of the caravan belied the fact that any migrants who complete the long trek to the southern U.S. border already face major hurdles, both physical and bureaucratic, to being allowed into the United States. Migrants are entitled under both U.S. and international law to apply for asylum, but it may take a while to make a claim. There is already a bottleneck of asylum seekers at some U.S. border crossings, in some cases as long as five weeks.

McAleenan said the aim was to deter migrants from crossing illegally between ports, but he conceded his officers were overwhelmed by a surge of asylum seekers. He also said Mexico was prepared to offer asylum to the caravan.

“If you’re already seeking asylum, you’ve been given a generous offer,” he said of Mexico. “We want to work with Mexico to manage that flow.”

The White House is also weighing additional border security measures, including blocking those traveling in the caravan from seeking legal asylum and preventing them from entering the U.S.

The military operation drew quick criticism.

“Sending active military forces to our southern border is not only a huge waste of taxpayer money, but an unnecessary course of action that will further terrorize and militarize our border communities,” said Shaw Drake of the American Civil Liberties Union’s border rights center at El Paso, Texas.

Military personnel are legally prohibited from engaging in immigration enforcement. The troops will include military police, combat engineers and others helping on the southern border.

The escalating rhetoric and expected deployments come as the president has been trying to turn the caravans into a key election issue just days before the midterm elections that will determine whether Republicans maintain control of Congress.

“This will be the election of the caravans, the Kavanaughs, law and order, tax cuts, and you know what else? It’s going to be the election of common sense,” Trump said at a rally in Illinois on Saturday night.

On Monday, he tweeted without providing evidence: “Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border.”

“Please go back,” he urged them. “you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!”

The troops are expected to perform a wide variety of functions such as transporting supplies for the Border Patrol, but not engage directly with migrants seeking to cross the border, officials said. One U.S. official said the troops will be sent initially to staging bases in California, Texas and Arizona while the CBP works out precisely where it wants the troops positioned. U.S. Transportation Command posted a video on its Facebook page Monday of a C-17 transport plane that it said was delivering Army equipment to the Southwest border in support of Operation Faithful Patriot.

The U.S. military has already begun delivering jersey barriers to the southern border in conjunction with the deployment plans.

[CNBC]

Trump Doubles Down on Baseless Caravan Claim at Rally: ‘Very Bad People’ Are Coming, It’s an ‘Assault On Our Country’

As President Donald Trump ginned up support for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Monday night, he once again slammed Democrats over immigration policy and the migrant caravan approaching the U.S. southern border.

Trump didn’t bring up his dubious claim today that “unknown Middle Easterners” are mixing in with the refugees, but instead said “I think the Democrats had something to do with [the migrants].”

“Now they are saying, I think we made a big mistake. People are seeing how bad it is. How pathetic it. How bad our laws are. They made a big mistake…That is an assault on our country. In that caravan you have some very bad people. You have some very bad people. We can’t let that happen to our country, and it’s not.”

[Mediaite]

Trump, When Confronted on ‘Unknown Middle Easterners’ Caravan Tweet, Says ‘Take Your Cameras and Search’

President Donald Trump this afternoon stood by his claim that there are “unknown Middle Easterners” in the migrant caravan coming to the border, a baseless claim he apparently got from Fox News.

One reporter asked him for evidence that there are terrorists in the caravan, and Trump responded by saying, “You know what you should do, John? Go into the middle of the caravan, take your cameras, and search.”

“Take your camera, go into the middle, and search,” Trump said. “You’re gonna find MS-13, you’re gonna find Middle Eastern, you’re gonna find everything. And guess what? We’re not allowing them in our country. We want safety.”

For the record, some reporters actually fact-checked the President’s claim earlier today:

[Mediaite]

Trump Claims Without Evidence ‘Unknown Middle Easterners Are Mixed In’ With Immigrant Caravan

President Donald Trump — in full midterms push — claimed on on Monday that “Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in” with the caravan of Central American immigrants making its way to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Like many of the president’s unfounded tweets, this one was likely inspired by Fox & Friends, which has given wall-to-wall coverage of the caravan on Monday, with guests repeatedly suggesting that ISIS and other Islamic terror groups could be infiltrating the group.

“Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States,” Trump wrote. “Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy. Must change laws!”

The Fox & Friends coverage that appears to have inspired Trump’s tweet about “unknown Middle Easterners” is based on comments by Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales that authorities have arrested 100 people suspected to be involved with terror, over some period of time, in his country. Watch Pete Hegseth bring that up in the video above, and make the leap to tie that comment to the caravan of immigrants.

Per ABC News:

[Mediaite]

Trump nominee to lead migrant agency shared Clinton, DNC conspiracies

President Trump’s pick to lead a United Nations migrant relief organization made hundreds of comments pushing conspiracy theories about Islam and Democrats, according to a CNN investigation published Thursday.

Ken Isaacs, the Trump administration’s choice to lead the UN’s International Organization for Migration, has faced additional scrutiny after CNN uncovered old social media posts where he appeared to equate all Muslims with terrorists.

On Thursday, CNN published a new trove of past comments.

CNN found that Isaacs also shared conspiracy theories about the Clintons and about the death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.

In the summer of 2016, Isaacs tweeted that Switzerland should consider building a wall in the Alps to keep refugees from crossing the border, and responded to a terrorist attack in Nice, France, by saying Islam “is not peaceful.”

Last August, he retweeted a user who claimed climate change is a “big hoax,” and wrote that scientists “can’t predict path of a visible storm yet but certain of manmade climate change.”

Isaacs previously apologized after CNN uncovered his initial comments about Muslims, saying his social media use was “careless.”

He declined to comment on Thursday’s story, and the State Department pointed to a past statement of support for his nomination.

If confirmed, Isaacs will lead the International Organization for Migration, which oversees the use of roughly $1 billion in migrant aid across the world.

[The Hill]

Trump: Minnesota Has ‘Suffered Enough’ Accepting Refugees

In a pitch to suspend the nation’s Syrian refugee program, Donald Trump said Minnesotans have “suffered enough” from accepting Somali immigrants into their state.

“Here in Minnesota you have seen firsthand the problems caused with faulty refugee vetting, with large numbers of Somali refugees coming into your state, without your knowledge, without your support or approval,” Trump said at a Minneapolis rally Sunday afternoon.

He said his administration would suspend the Syrian refugee program and not resettle refugees anywhere in the United States without support from the communities, while Hillary Clinton’s “plan will import generations of terrorism, extremism and radicalism into your schools and throughout your communities.”

You’ve suffered enough in Minnesota,” he said.

Minnesota is home to nearly one in three Somalis in the United States, according to 2010 American Community Survey data.

Trump’s Minnesota rally came within hours of the FBI announcing its review of newly discovered Clinton emails did not change its original conclusion to not recommend criminal charges. Trump did not address the FBI’s new statement.

(h/t Time)

Trump Jr. Compares Syrian Refugees to Poisoned Skittles

Donald Trump’s eldest son has caused uproar on social media by comparing Syrian refugees to the fruit-flavoured sweets Skittles.

Trying to suggest the US should not accept any refugees, Donald Trump Jr posted an image that asked:

“If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful?”

“That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

He added: “This image says it all. Let’s end the politically correct agenda that doesn’t put America first.”

The food analogy has been used before to imply that, if a few people in a group are bad, it would be dangerous to take a single one in.

The language in Donald Jr’s tweet was used in a post by conservative radio host Joe Walsh in August. Joe Walsh was a former single-term Congressman most remembered for being kicked off the air for using racial epitaphs to describe African Americans and for trying to incite violence against President Barack Obama.

But following the tweet by the Republican presidential candidate’s son, the company that owns Skittles, Wrigley, stepped in.

“Skittles are candy. Refugees are people,” said Denise Young, vice-president of corporate affairs for Wrigley America.

“We don’t feel it is an appropriate analogy,” she added. “We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”

Meanwhile the photographer who took the picture of the Skittles said the picture was used without his permission and revealed that he was himself a former refugee.

(h/t BBC)

Reality

In the US, each year, you are far more likely to die due to choking on candy than due to a terrorist attack by a refugee. According to the US National Safety Council and Cato Institute you have a:

  • 1 in 3,408 chance of choking to death on food
  • 1 in 3,640,000,000 chance of being killed by a refugee in a terror attack

The fact is, the refugee resettlement program is the single most difficult way to enter the United States. So refusing refugees was truly about preventing some “Trojan horse” terrorist, it is such a highly ineffective policy that should put into question the very qualifications of this candidate.

Instead this follows a pattern of white supremacist from Donald Trump Jr. and his father and keeping brown people with different beliefs from them out of the country. Some examples include:

  • On March 3rd, Donald Trump Jr. appeared on a radio show and took questions from a known white supremacist.
  • On July 5th, Donald Trump Jr. liked a tweet by one of the worst and most active member of the “alt-right” neo-Nazi movement on Twitter.
  • On August, 29th, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted a post from known white supremacist Kevin MacDonald.
  • On September, 10th, Donald Trump Jr. shared a meme with him next to a white nationalist symbol.
  • On September, 15th, Donald Trump Jr. casually made a holocaust joke on a radio show.

Trump Jr. Claims Children In Europe Are Being Raped By Migrants Daily

Donald Trump Jr. on Wednesday defended his father’s position on banning refugees from countries where there is known to be terrorism, citing Europe — where he claims migrants rape children daily — as a dangerous example.

Trump Jr. was being interviewed on Facebook Live by a reporter for Salt Lake City’s local CBS affiliate when he made the allegation after being asked what he would say to citizens of Utah who were worried his father’s rhetoric on refugees.

“I think its an important thing, but I think we also have to be able to vet people who are coming in to our country,” Trump Jr. said, emphasizing the need for common sense policies.

“If you look at what’s happened in Europe as it relates to the migrant flows, you know, and you’re hearing about young children being raped daily, and you’re looking at countries that were very good and peaceful countries, the statistics are going through the roof in terms of those kind of attacks—we just have to be intelligent with what we’re doing,” he continued.

Trump Jr.’s comment comes after his tweet on Monday comparing refugees to skittles. Additionally, on Tuesday, he retweeted a Breitbart story titled: “Europe’s Rape Epidemic: Western Women Will Be Sacrificed At The Alter Of Mass Migration”

(h/t Buzzfeed)

Donald Trump Jr. Tweets Straight-Up White Nationalist Propaganda

Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday morning decided to re-up a column from an anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant British activist blaring that “Western woman will be sacrificed at the alter of mass migration.”

After tweeting an anti-immigrant message featuring a white supremacist meme on Monday night, the eldest son of the GOP nominee tweeted:

Europe’s Rape Epidemic: Western Women Will Be Sacrificed At The Altar Of Mass Migration https://t.co/BkguApQqvQ via @BreitbartNews

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 20, 2016

He linked to a 2015 post from Anne-Marie Waters, a British activist and member of the fervently anti-immigration UK Independence Party, which she penned for Breitbart’s London offshoot.

In the post, Waters recounts being sexually harassed and intimidated by “Middle Eastern-looking men” across Europe to set the stage for her takedown of “suicidal” immigration polices that she says allow Muslim men to rape white women.

“In England, it’s been rape after rape – tens of thousands of young British girls are brutalised, tortured, beaten and raped by organised gangs comprised almost exclusively of Muslims,” she wrote.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration polices “opened the door to the rape of German women,” Waters wrote. She went on to claim rape, sexual assault and “forced prostitution” are “rampant within the refugee camps in Germany.”

(h/t Talking Points Memo)

Reality

With the exception of an incident in Germany on New Years Eve in 2015, where there was a reported 5 rapes and 1,200 sexual assaults by “Arab or North African appearance,” and sexual assaults at a camp in Greece, there are no widespread reports to back up Waters’ claim.

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