Donald Trump, the frontrunner in the Republican presidential race, articulated on Saturday that undocumented immigrants were “Poisoning Blood,” echoing verbiage previously criticized for its xenophobic undertones, reminiscent of Nazi rhetoric.
These remarks transpired during a campaign gathering in New Hampshire, where Trump vehemently opposed the unprecedented surge of migrants attempting to breach the US border illicitly. Trump, harboring the commitment to staunchly tackle illegal immigration and curtail legal immigration if granted a second term in office, addressed a rally in Durham attended by a multitude of supporters.
In his discourse, Trump asserted, “They’re poisoning the blood of our country,” expanding the narrative to include undocumented immigrants from Asia and Africa, in addition to South America. “From every corner of the globe, they are inundating our nation.”
This “Poisoning Blood” lexicon reappeared during an interview with The National Pulse, a right-leaning online platform, in late September. Such repetition drew rebuke from the Anti-Defamation League, with its leader, Jonathan Greenblatt, denouncing the language as “racist, xenophobic, and despicable.”
Jason Stanley, a Yale professor specializing in fascism, expressed concern over Trump’s persistent use of this language, drawing parallels to the rhetoric employed by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in “Mein Kampf,” where he warned against the poisoning of German blood by Jews. Stanley emphasized the peril in normalizing and endorsing hazardous speech through repetition, particularly noting the potential threat to immigrants’ safety in the US.
In October, Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, dismissed critiques of the former president’s language as “nonsensical,” contending that analogous language was prevalent in literature, news articles, and on television.
When pressed for commentary on Saturday, Cheung refrained from directly addressing Trump’s remarks, redirecting the conversation to controversies surrounding how US colleges handle campus protests since the October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel. He asserted that media and academia had provided a “safe haven for dangerous anti-Semitic and pro-Hamas rhetoric that is both dangerous and alarming.”
Noteworthy is the absence of the “contaminating the life force of our country” phrase in Trump’s prepared remarks disseminated to the media ahead of Saturday’s event. Whether this rhetoric was premeditated or extemporaneous remains unclear.
Trump, positioned as the frontrunner for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination, has placed border security in the forefront of his campaign. Pledging to reinstate the stringent policies of his 2017-2021 presidency and introduce new measures to further tighten immigration, Trump is poised to make immigration a focal point.
In contrast, President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, has sought to institute more compassionate and organized immigration policies. However, he grapples with unprecedented levels of migrants, a vulnerability in his bid for re-election.
On the campaign trail, Trump consistently deploys inflammatory language to characterize the border issue and criticize Biden’s policies. Notably, on Saturday, he recited adapted lyrics likening immigrants to lethal serpents. If re-elected, Trump vows “to halt the incursion at our southern border and commence the most extensive domestic deportation operation in American history.”