An incendiary video tweeted Thursday by President Donald Trump not only shockingly compared members of a migrant caravan heading to the U.S. to an immigrant cop-killer, it also falsely held the Democrats solely responsible for his presence in America.
Luis Bracamontes, now on death row at San Quentin for killing a California sheriff’s deputy and detective in 2014, is featured in the fearmongering video that critics are comparing to the notoriously racist “Wille Horton” ad attacking Michael Dukakis during his Democratic run for the presidency in 1988.
The new video blames Democrats for letting Bracamontes into the U.S. and allowing the undocumented immigrant to stay in the country. “Who else would the Democrats let in?” the video asks.
But Bracamontes was first deported during the Clinton administration and later slipped back into the U.S. during the George W. Bush administration, according to federal documents obtained by the Sacramento Bee.
Bracamontes also used an AR-15 assault-style rifle when he killed the California officers. Trump and Republicans have opposed making the gun illegal. It was most recently used by the gunman who killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue last week.
Bracamontes initially entered the country illegally in 1993 and was deported in 1997 following a drug sentence. He was back in the country a year later and arrested on another drug charge in Phoenix but was released for “unknown reasons” under Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s custody and continued to live in the U.S.
He was deported again following another drug charge in 2001 and returned soon after to marry in the U.S. during the Bush administration, the Bee reported. He killed the deputy and detective 13 years later.
Demonizing members of the migrant caravan seeking refuge in the U.S. from Central American violence has become a thrust of Trump’s midterm campaigning. He has called them invaders and claimed that “bad people” and even Middle Eastern terrorists are among those traveling north — though he has conceded he has no evidence for his statements. A senior counterterrorism expert in the Trump administration told CNN that there’s no evidence “ISIS or other Sunni terrorist groups are trying to infiltrate the southern U.S. border.”
Videos and photos show family members, including many mothers and children, traveling in the caravan.
Trump is dispatching 5,200 troops to the border with Mexico, even though the caravan is about 900 miles away, and has threatened to send as many as 15,000.
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith said earlier this week: “There is no invasion. No one’s coming to get you. There’s nothing at all to worry about.” He said concocting the threat before the midterm elections is “what all of this is about.”