‘Poison’: Donald Trump invokes Nazi rhetoric to attack migrants

A group of Venezuelan migrants  on the long journey to the US.

A group of Venezuelan migrants on the long journey to the US. Photo: Getty

Donald Trump has told a rally that undocumented immigrants are “poisoning the blood of our country,” doubling down on language already criticised as mirroring Nazi rhetoric.

Trump made the comments during a campaign event in New Hampshire where he railed against the record number of migrants illegally crossing the US border with Mexico.

Trump has promised to crack down on illegal immigration and restrict legal immigration if elected to his second four-year term in office.

“They’re poisoning the blood of our country,” Trump told a rally in the city of Durham attended by several thousand supporters, adding that immigrants were coming to the US from Asia and Africa in addition to South America. “All over the world they are pouring into our country.”

‘Very concerning talk’

Trump used the same “poisoning the blood” language during an interview with The National Pulse, a right-leaning website, that was published in late September. It prompted a rebuke from the Anti-Defamation League, whose leader, Jonathan Greenblatt, called the language “racist, xenophobic and despicable.”

Jason Stanley, a Yale professor and author of a book on fascism, said Trump’s repeated use of that language was dangerous. He said Trump’s words echoed the rhetoric of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, who warned against German blood being poisoned by Jews in his political treatise Mein Kampf.

“He is now employing this vocabulary in repetition in rallies. Repeating dangerous speech increases its normalisation and the practices it recommends,” said Stanley, who is a Democrat supporter.

“This is very concerning talk for the safety of immigrants in the US”

donald trump second amendment threat

Trump’s attacks on migrants have become a regular feature of his rallies. Photo: Getty

In October, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung dismissed criticism of the former president’s language, arguing that similar language was prevalent in books, news articles and on TV.

When asked for comment on Saturday, Cheung did not directly address Trump’s remarks, instead referencing eruptions of anti-Semitism on college campuses since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

Anti-Semitic protests

Cheung accused the media and academia of providing “safe haven for dangerous anti-Semitic and pro-Hamas rhetoric that is both dangerous and alarming.”

Trump is the leading candidate for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination and has made border security a major theme of his campaign. He is vowing to restore the hardline policies from his 2017-2021 presidency, and implement new ones that clamp down further on immigration.

President Joe Biden’s term in office has seen record levels of migration, with some estimates putting the numbers who have crossed the southern border at well over a million over three years.

On the campaign trail, Trump has repeatedly used inflammatory language to describe the border issue and slam Biden’s policies. On Saturday he recited the lyrics of a song he has repurposed to liken illegal immigrants to deadly snakes.

If re-elected, Trump promised “to stop the invasion of our southern border and begin the largest domestic deportation operation in American history.”


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