Trump falsely claims Clinton could triple US population in one week
Trump supporters shout "kill yourselves" and "CNN lies" at news media at an Albuquerque, New Mexico rally. Photograph: (Getty)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump warned an Albuquerque, New Mexico rally that Hillary Clinton's "open borders" policy could permit as many as 650 million immigrants in a week.
He said, "You could have 650 million people pour in and we do nothing about it. Think of it, that's what could happen. You triple the size of your country in one week. Once you lose control of the borders you have no country."
It's hard to say what aspect of this claim is the most outlandish: The figure of 650 million is beyond preposterous. CNN says that in 2014, the US had just over one million legal immigrants, nowhere near Trump's 650 million. The insinuation that there are mobs of dangerous people trying to enter the US in order to fatally undermine it is unsubstantiated. The US is not at risk of losing its borders, its country is not on the brink of disaster.
Trump has claimed that Mexico is deliberately sending rapists into the US, and has compared Syrian refugees fleeing war to Greek soldiers hiding in the Trojan Horse to kill their wartime enemies. Trump has invoked the Trojan Horse multiple times, but his analogy is backwards. It is unlikely has has ever read Homer or Virgil. At the very least, he is rusty.
The Guardian reports that Clinton is on record for favouring comprehensive immigration reform, to provide a way for undocumented immigrants currently living in the country to become legal citizens. She has never said anything about increasing the population by roughly 200 per cent in one week.
The comments come after Trump has repeatedlt fanned the flames of paranoia over election fraud. In a presidential debate, Trump refused to say whether or not he would accept the result of the election. This was widely-condemned as an unprecedented repudiation of the basic tenets of American democracy.
The Guardian claims that a recent study found 31 cases of in-person voter fraud out of one billion ballots cast between 2000-2014.
Trump has repeatedly called on supporters to patrol election booths to watch out for so-called fraud, which both Democrats and Republicans have denied exists and which was widely considered to be a call to intimidate voters.
Actually, a Trump supporter from Des Moines was charged with voter fraud, saying she voted twice because she believed Trump's claim that the election was rigged, and feared her vote for Trump would be changed to a vote for Clinton. (If it was actually rigged, then logically, she voted twice for Clinton.)
What Trump's dog whistles mean for an intimidation-free election vary from state to state: Bloomberg news reports that in Texas guns aren't allowed in polling centres, while they are in Pennsylvania.
Trump's has told his followers that after they vote on November 8, it's their duty to go to "some other place" to make sure there's no voter fraud. "Go sit there with your friends and make sure it's on the up-and-up."
The call to go to "some other place" was interpreted by many as telling white people to go non-white communities, while "...make sure it's on the up-and-up" is way of telling them to fight against the impending fraud, but without uttering those exact words aloud.
Bloomberg reports that US federal law prohibits conduct that could be perceived as intimidating to voters on the basis of race or ethnicity. They cited New York University's Brennan Center for Justice, which claims this includes a direct confrontation with voters, using threatening language or raised voices, and disseminating misleading information on election.