Ahead of the South Carolina Republican primary on February 24, former President Donald Trump escalated his fascistic attack on immigrants while campaigning in Conway in front of a few thousand people.
“We are allowing people to pour into our country,” Trump taunted. “They are going to cause tremendous problems. They are coming in from everywhere… millions of illegal aliens unchecked from Somalia, the Congo, Libya, Iran… lot of people coming from China, Russia.”
Painting immigrants as an invading army, Trump said there are “very few women coming in.” Instead they were mostly “18–25-year-old men, fighting age. They have something planned… They are destroying our country.”
Trump was joined by virtually the entire Republican leadership in South Carolina, including Gov. Henry McMaster, Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette and Reps. Russel Fry, Nancy Mace, William Timmons and Joe Wilson. Trump specifically boasted about his role in sinking the bipartisan anti-immigrant and war package that President Joe Biden demanded passage of last week.
“We crushed crooked Joe Biden’s disastrous open borders bill,” Trump bragged, adding, “[House Speaker] Mike Johnson did a very good job. We saved America from a very horrific Biden betrayal.”
While that bill has been defeated, in a rare Sunday vote, senators from both parties voted, 67–27, to advance a $95.3 billion military package for Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific, which was stripped of the border provisions that had been previously negotiated.
Prior to the vote, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) demanded the bill’s passage, writing on his Twitter/X account, “If America doesn’t send aid to Ukraine with this national security bill, Putin is all too likely to succeed. The only right answer to this threat is for the Senate to face it down unflinchingly, by passing this national security bill ASAP.”
While Democrats focus on war above all else, in his speech Trump claimed that Biden’s “horrendous border plan would have allowed millions upon millions” to “flood into the country unchecked.”
Trump promised, if elected, to carry out the largest mass domestic deportation operation in the history of America. “The border problem is a big problem,” Trump said, “On day one I will terminate every open border police of the Biden administration, and I will carry out the largest domestic deportation operation in American history. We have no choice. We have no choice.”
Appealing to police and government agents, Trump promised that if elected he would indemnify police from being sued by “the radical left for taking strong actions on crime.”
Trump’s police state plans are not just idle boasting. In an article published by the Atlantic titled “Trump’s ‘Knock on the Door,’” the magazine reported on an extended interview Stephen Miller, Trump’s former senior advisor and speechwriter, conducted with Charlie Kirk, the far-right leader of Turning Point USA, last November.
Miller was the architect of several of Trump’s anti-immigrant proposals and will likely have a senior role in any future administration.
In the interview, Miller explained how a future Trump administration would deport some 10 million “foreign-national invaders.” Miller said that in order to carry out large-scale deportations, the administration would “deputize” National Guard soldiers from states with Republican governors to serve alongside ICE and Border Patrol.
“You go to the red-state governors and say, ‘Give us your National Guard,’” Miller told Kirk. “We will deputize them as immigration-enforcement officers.” These newly deputized National Guard soldiers, Miller explained, would then go “around the country arresting illegal immigrants in large-scale raids.”
Miller said these joint deputized National Guard and border police stormtroopers could even be sent into an “unfriendly state” to carry out raids. To circumvent Democratic governors who might resist, Trump, as he promised to do during the mass protests against police violence following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, could invoke the Insurrection Act, which would provide the president with virtually unlimited authority to use any military asset.
Miller explained that the thousands of people rounded up would then be sent to “large-scale staging grounds near the border, most likely in Texas.” From these concentration camps, Miller said the federal government would be running around-the-clock flights out of the country.
“So you create this efficiency by having these standing facilities where planes are moving off the runway constantly, probably military aircraft, some existing DHS assets,” Miller told Kirk.
As Republicans openly campaign on creating a massive police state, under Biden immigrants continue to suffer. This past Saturday, humanitarian aid group No More Deaths (No Más Muertes) reported that Border Patrol refused to process 400 immigrants who had crossed the border in order to claim asylum.
In a February 10 press release, the group stated that even as “snow and freezing temperatures set in,” Border Patrol never came to assist the asylum seekers who were in Sasabe, Arizona. When volunteers with the organization and other aid groups attempted to assist the asylum seekers by providing transportation to the local Border Patrol station, they were arrested and detained by the border police.
It was not until Sunday evening that No More Deaths reported that all the migrants had finally been taken into custody by Border Patrol. It is unclear as of this writing if any of the immigrants died as a result of the prolonged exposure.