Trump Says Illegal Immigrants Pouring Across the Border to Vote
The federal government is allowing illegal immigrants to flow into the U.S. so they can vote, Donald Trump alleged Friday, fueling his own argument that November’s presidential election will be rigged against him.
At a roundtable with National Border Patrol Council members Friday morning inside Trump Tower, Art Del Cueto, national vice president of the union that represents Border Patrol agents, told the Republican presidential nominee that agents have been advised not to deport illegal immigrants with criminal records, according to a pool report.
Trump conveyed his appreciation for Border Patrol agents, telling them their jobs would be so much easier if they just allowed people to come across the border.
“But you love our country,” Trump said, adding, “You know many people are coming in with criminal records.”
Del Cueto told Trump that he has spoken to a number of agents who are in charge of processing. “And the problem that we’re seeing reflected through us as a voice is that some of these individuals that were apprehended with criminal records, they’re not, they’re checking their records, they see that they have criminal records, but they’re setting them aside because at this point they are saying immigration is so tied up with trying to get the people who are on the waiting list to hurry up and get them their immigration status corrected,” he said.
“Why? Trump asked. “So they can go ahead and vote before the election,” Del Cueto responded.
“Big statement, fellas,” Trump said, motioning to reporters, whom he accused of concealing from the public what they just heard. “You’re not going to write it. That’s huge. But they’re letting people pour into the country so they can go and vote.”
Del Cueto said the government wants “to hurry up and fast track them so they can go ahead and vote in the election,” prompting Trump to promote himself as a change agent.
“You hear a thing like that, and it’s a disgrace,” he said. “Well, it will be a lot different if I get elected.”
The real estate mogul suggested at last week’s presidential debate that he would accept the outcome of the election — but his rhetoric before and after his first faceoff with Hillary Clinton has contradicted that claim.
“The answer is, if she wins, I will absolutely support her,” Trump told debate moderator Lester Holt, indicating that he would concede the election if he lost to Clinton without floating conspiracies of a rigged election.
At a rally in Henderson, Nevada, on Wednesday, Trump again hinted of a rigged election, urging his supporters to turn out even on their death beds so “the other side” doesn’t steal the election.
“I say kiddingly, but I mean it: I don’t care how sick you are. I don’t care if you just came back from the doctor and he gave you the worst possible prognosis, meaning it’s over, you won’t be around in two weeks,” Trump said. “Doesn’t matter. Hang out ‘til Nov. 8. Get out and vote. And then all we’re gonna say is we love you and we will remember you always. Get out and vote. And don’t let the other side take this election away from us because this is the last chance we get.”
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham on Thursday condemned Trump for sowing doubt in voters’ minds by questioning the integrity of the presidential election.
“I don’t think it’s good for democracy to have a major candidate for president doubt the outcome. Now, could the election be compromised from hacking and all kind of nefarious activities?” he told CNN. “Yeah, that’s possible, but being rigged means it’s rigged against you. And I think Mr. Trump’s fate is in his own hands. The system’s not rigged against him, as far as I can tell, and when you suggest it might be, then that’s a message to your supporters and to the country as a whole that you can’t trust the outcome of an American election.”
He added, “We got enough problems here at home without making people believe that we’re not gonna honestly elect the next president.”
Since 1996, federal law has prohibited non-citizens from voting in federal elections, punishing them by fines, imprisonment, inadmissibility, and deportation.
There’s no evidence, though, that immigrants (a) come to the country illegally to vote, (b) register to vote illegally and (c) cast votes in federal elections on any substantive scale.