Trump called immigrants "animals"

"Donald Trump engages in extreme rhetoric that promotes division, hatred and violence in our country," said Michael Tyler, communications director for the Biden campaign.

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Tramo during a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Photo: Reuters
Tramo during a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Photo: Reuters
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Donald Trump called immigrants who are in the United States illegally "animals" and said they are not people in a speech in Michigan on Tuesday, resorting to degrading rhetoric he has repeatedly used on the campaign trail, Reuters reported.

The Republican presidential candidate, who appeared with several police officers, detailed several criminal cases involving suspects who are in the country illegally and warned that violence and chaos would engulf America if he did not win the Nov. 5 election.

In a later speech in Green Bay, Wisconsin, he struck a similarly foreboding tone, describing the 2024 election as "the nation's final battle."

Speaking about Laken Riley - a 22-year-old nursing student from Georgia who was allegedly killed by a Venezuelan immigrant in the country illegally - Trump said some immigrants are subhuman.

"Democrats say, 'Please don't call them animals. They're people.' I said, 'No, they're not human, they're not human, they're animals,'" said Trump, president from 2017 to 2021.

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Trump described meeting the family of Ruby Garcia, a local 25-year-old who was killed last month by a suspect who was in the country illegally, according to police. Garcia's sister denied that the former president spoke with the family, local media reported.

In his speeches, Trump often claims that immigrants who cross the border illegally into Mexico have escaped prisons and asylums in their home states and are fueling violent crime in the United States.

While available data on the immigration status of criminals is scarce, researchers say people living in the U.S. illegally do not commit violent crimes at a higher rate than native citizens.

The Democratic president, Joseph Biden, Trump's rival in the presidential election in November, accuses Trump of encouraging Republicans in Congress not to pass legislation this year that would strengthen security on the southern border and introduce measures aimed at reducing illegal immigration.

"Donald Trump engages in extreme rhetoric that promotes division, hatred and violence in our country," Michael Tyler, the Biden campaign's communications director, told reporters on Tuesday ahead of Trump's speeches, according to Reuters.

Trump called his speech in Michigan "Biden's border bloodbath" and said he met family members of Garcia, who was allegedly killed in her car last month by Brandon Ortiz-White, 25, who she was dating.

"They said she just had the most infectious laugh, and she lit up any room she walked into, and I've heard that from so many people. I've talked to some of her family," Trump said.

Mavi Garcia, Rubi Garcia's sister, disputed his allegation, according to local television stations.

"He didn't talk to any of us, so it was shocking to see that he said he talked to us," Mavi Garcia was quoted as saying by the local NBC affiliate.

Reuters was unable to immediately contact Garcia's family. A representative of the Trump campaign declined to comment.

The murders of Garcia and Riley allowed the Trump campaign to simultaneously play on some voters' fears about violent crime and immigration.

About 38 percent of Republicans cited immigration as the top issue in the country in a Reuters/Ipsos poll released in late February, as did one in five independents. Trump often claims without evidence that migrants have caused a rise in violent crime in US cities. He repeated Tuesday's baseless claim that Latin American nations are deliberately sending their criminals to the United States.

In the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday

During an evening speech in Wisconsin, Trump promised to stop "the looting, raping, slaughtering and destruction of our American suburbs, cities and towns."

He also warned that the upcoming election could be America's last.

"This country is over if we don't win this election," he said. "And I heard somebody say ... two or three days ago, if we don't win, this could be the last election our country ever has . And there might be some truth in that."

Michigan and Wisconsin are two "swing states" that could determine whether Biden or Trump will occupy the White House next year.

In the 2020 election, Biden beat Trump in Wisconsin by less than one percentage point and in Michigan by less than three. The situation is expected to be just as uncertain this year when it comes to Wisconsin and Michigan.

Although both Trump and Biden mathematically clinched their presidential nominations, they were in their party's presidential primary in Wisconsin on Tuesday.

Biden's team will watch for protest votes from Democrats angry about the president's strong support for Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza.

In February's presidential primary in Michigan, a state with a large Muslim population, Biden easily won, but more than 100.000 Democrats voted "uncommitted" instead of Biden, in protest over his policies in Gaza, Reuters reports.

A similar option was available in Wisconsin on Tuesday. The goal of the protest campaign is to get 20.682 voters to mark their ballots as "ignorant," Wisconsin's version of "noncommittal." The number is significant because it represents Biden's winning margin over Trump in the 2020 state.

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