Trump Makes Baseless Claims About Immigration and Voter Fraud

Trump Makes Baseless Claims About Immigration and Voter Fraud
Trump Makes Baseless Claims About Immigration and Voter Fraud

Fresh off his trip to the southern border earlier this week, former President Donald J. Trump on Saturday baselessly suggested that President Biden had “smuggled” violent anti-American forces across the border.

At a pair of rallies in North Carolina and Virginia, Mr. Trump — who has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States as part of the 91 felony counts he currently faces in four separate criminal trials — broadly and without evidence asserted that Mr. Biden’s border policy amounted to a “conspiracy to overthrow the United States of America.”

Mr. Trump has previously suggested without evidence that Democrats were encouraging migrants to cross the border illegally in order to register them to vote. On Saturday, he told crowds in Greensboro, N.C., and Richmond, Va., that he believed Mr. Biden was “giving aid and comfort” to America’s foreign enemies.

He went on to frame this year’s election as a question of “whether the foreign armies Joe Biden has smuggled across our border will be allowed to stay or whether they will be told to get the hell out of here and go back home.”

Mr. Trump has frequently blamed the surge of migrants at the border on Mr. Biden and Democrats, who he claims are too lenient on those who cross illegally. But there is no evidence to support the claim that Mr. Biden has trafficked migrants across the border.

Nor is there evidence to suggest that Democrats have been encouraging the surge of migrants at the border in order to register them illegally to vote, one of many claims that Mr. Trump has made as he has promoted widespread and frequently debunked assertions of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Mr. Trump repeated those claims of fraud at his rallies in North Carolina and Virginia, two states that will vote in the Republican primary on Tuesday and that Mr. Trump is hoping he can win in the general election if he is the Republican nominee.

He said that Republicans needed to ensure a turnout in November that was so large as to be “too big to rig,” reviving his claim that Democrats could win this year only if they cheated. And his campaign distributed among the crowd at both rallies signs reading “Too Big to Rig.”

But Mr. Trump also appeared to connect his predictions of voter interference to the migrant crisis, accusing Mr. Biden and his allies of trying to “collapse the American system, nullify the will of the actual American voters and establish a new base of power that gives them control for generations.”

The border crisis has worsened during the Biden administration. Republicans have accused Mr. Biden of being negligent on the issue, arguing that his promises to roll back Mr. Trump’s stringent border policies have led to the continuing influx.

Democrats have pointed to a surge in migration around the world. And Mr. Biden has blamed Republicans for trying to block bipartisan efforts to address the issue, including a bill in Congress that would have significantly cracked down on crossings. Republicans, at Mr. Trump’s urging, thwarted the bill.

Throughout his campaign, Mr. Trump has ramped up warnings about threats he portrays as damaging to traditional American values. The former president typically relies on the language of war to describe the border crisis, which he frames as an invasion.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump visited Eagle Pass, Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott has dispatched the Texas National Guard to police the border. After receiving a briefing on the state’s efforts, Mr. Trump said that the migrants “look like warriors to me,” adding that “something’s going on — it’s bad.”

During his speech on Saturday, Mr. Trump again painted those crossing the border with a broad brush, saying that they were coming from “mental institutions and insane asylums” or that they were former prisoners who had been sent across the border by leaders of other countries.

And he again rattled off a number of crimes allegedly committed by migrants, stoking fear and portraying Democrats as ignoring crime and disorder. But border officials, including some who worked for Mr. Trump, have said that most migrants who cross the border are members of vulnerable families fleeing poverty and violence.

Mr. Trump is planning an extreme expansion of his anti-immigration policies if he wins the election in 2025, including what he calls the “largest domestic deportation operation” in U.S. history.

A new Trump administration would build enormous camps in the United States to hold undocumented immigrants. And Mr. Trump would reimpose a Covid-era policy that would refuse asylum claims on the basis that migrants carry diseases like tuberculosis.

In Greensboro, Mr. Trump’s claims resonated with supporters, many of whom described the border as their top concern.

“I think it’s absolutely true,” said Dave Johnson, 69, a retired tobacco factory worker from Graham, N.C. “The Biden administration, they don’t care about us.”

Charles Homans contributed reporting from Greensboro, N.C.