Politics

Trump repeats controversial 'bloodbath' language to attack Biden over immigration

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(WASHINGTON) — At his first campaign event in more than two weeks, former President Donald Trump on Tuesday sought to capitalize on the backlash he faced when warning of a “bloodbath” for the country if he loses the election, as he spoke about the auto industry — but this time he pivoted to warn of President Joe Biden’s “border bloodbath.”

“It’s destroying our country,” Trump, joined by some law enforcement and local officials, said at a press conference-style “messaging event” in Grand Rapids, Michigan, echoing what has become a key campaign attack on his rival’s immigration policies.

“It’s a very bad thing happening,” Trump argued. “It’s going to end on the day that I take office, which will be Jan. 20.”

“Every state is now a border state, every town is now a border town,” he said. “Because Joe Biden has brought the carnage and chaos and killing from all over the world and dumped it straight into our backyards.”

Among other topics, including again denying all wrongdoing as he lambasted his various legal troubles, Trump continued to use critical language to reference migrants who are in the country illegally, particularly accused criminals.

He called out those who are suspected of violent crimes, saying they are “animals,” and he said of unauthorized immigrants more broadly that he doesn’t want them bringing in “diseases” — as he railed against the high numbers of immigrants crossing the southern border.

He also spoke hyperbolically of the public safety dangers from those migrants, repeating a favored label of “migrant crime.”

However, U.S. citizens actually commit crimes at higher rates than unauthorized immigrants, according to a 2020 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Biden administration officials have repeatedly defended their approach to the border while saying Congress should do more to help, rebuffing conservative criticism amid what polling shows is low public approval for the president on the issue.

Last month, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas cited a deal in the Senate to tighten immigration laws that was ultimately rejected by Republicans because they claimed it was insufficient.

“We have a solution at our fingertips,” Mayorkas said in March. “Does it cure all of the challenges? Of course not. But a bipartisan group of senators reached a very significant compromise that it would advance for the first time in decades our work in addressing irregular migration that reaches our borders in a way that we haven’t since 1996. It would resource our department.”

Trump on Tuesday in Michigan used his speech to highlight the recent death of 25-year-old Ruby Garcia of Grand Rapids.

Police have said she was dating the suspect and described the killing as a domestic dispute, according to the Associated Press.

The suspected killer entered the country illegally from Mexico, according to border officials.

Trump called Garcia a “beautiful young woman [who] was savagely murdered by an illegal alien criminal.”

He directly blamed Biden for the death of Garcia, claiming the suspect was deported under his administration but then was let back into the country under Biden.

But an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement spokesperson said in a statement that the suspect actually re-entered the U.S. after deportation “at an unknown date and location.”

Trump also said he had spoken with some of Garcia’s family: “They said she had just the most contagious laughter and when she walked into a room, she lit up that room, and I’ve heard that from so many people.” According to a local Fox report, Garcia’s sister disputed speaking with Trump.

Oddly, Trump appeared to be going back and forth between saying Garcia was 25 years old and 17 years old.

As a part of his border security message, Trump listed other homicide victims in cases where the suspects are known or alleged to be unauthorized immigrants.

While talking about the suspects in these murders, Trump called them “animals,” saying they are “not humans.”

“The Democrats say, ‘Please don’t call them animals, they’re humans,'” Trump said. “I said, ‘No, they’re not humans. They’re not.’ Yeah, they’re animals.”

Touting his use as president of the Title 42 public health authority to rapidly remove migrants during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump again said he doesn’t want unauthorized immigrants bringing in diseases.

“When people are sick, we don’t want them coming into our country with contagious diseases,” he said. “And they have it and all of a sudden you see these contagious diseases spreading and everyone’s saying, ‘I wonder where they came from?'”

Warning of what he described as groups of migrants working in organized crime, Trump told his supporters to vote for him “if you don’t want illegal alien criminals crawling through your windows and ransacking your drawers.”

Trump then attempted to court suburban housewives. “I’m the one that’s going to keep them safe,” he said.

A large-scale solution is needed to address immigration, he vowed, though he did not detail how, specifically, he would execute this.

“I will seal the border and will begin the largest domestic deportation operation in the history of our country,” he said.

“I will shift massive portions of federal law enforcement to immigration enforcement and we will impose a naval blockade on the cartels and we will hit the cartels very hard,” he said.

ABC News’ Luke Barr and Quinn Owen contributed to this report.

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