- The Trump campaign released an ad Saturday announcing its intention to blame Democrats for murders committed by unauthorised immigrants.
- The ad came on the first day of a government shutdown, caused in part by deadlocked negotiations on immigration policies.
- But Democrats said Saturday they offered Trump funding for the border wall, only to have him back away from a tentative deal hours later.
President Donald Trump on Saturday released a vitriolic campaign ad attacking Democrats on immigration, calling them “complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants.”
The 30-second ad, debuted on YouTube and titled “Complicit,” used footage from the ongoing trial of Luis Bracamontes, an unauthorised immigrant accused of killing two northern California deputies. Bracamontes made headlines on Wednesday after shouting in the courtroom that he killed cops, didn’t regret it, and wanted to kill more.
“It’s pure evil,” a narrator in the Trump campaign ad intoned. “President Trump is right: build the wall, deport criminals, stop illegal immigration now. Democrats who stand in our way will be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants. President Trump will fix our border and keep our families safe.”
The campaign ad follows a long series of efforts by the Trump administration to portray immigrants as criminals, but experts have found that immigrants – including unauthorised ones –are less likely than native-born Americans to commit crimes.
The ad was released on the first day of a government shutdown, caused in part by a deadlocked debate between Congressional Democrats and hard-line Republicans over how to handle several immigration issues.
At issue is the fate of hundreds of thousands of young unauthorised immigrants known as “Dreamers” protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which the Trump administration was set to phase out by March 5.
Trump and his allies have demanded Congress fund his long-promised wall along the US-Mexico border and reform several other immigration programs in exchange for permanently protecting the Dreamers.
Democrats have attempted to compromise, and even conceded to Trump on the border wall. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced he had offered to put the border wall “on the table” to Trump in a White House meeting on Friday – a negotiation he said Trump appeared amenable to, before abruptly backing away that same day.
“The president said many times he would take a deal that had included DACA in exchange for the wall,” Schumer said Saturday in a speech on the Senate floor. “I put that deal on the table in the Oval Office in a sincere effort at compromise. I put the wall on the table in exchange for strong DACA protections.”
But the tentative deal ultimately failed because Trump was an unreliable negotiator, Schumer said.
“Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-O,” he said. “It’s next to impossible.”
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