Trump’s threats against Honduras illustrate his desperation for Republican control

Sarah Baldwin, Contributing Writer

In recent weeks, there has been an influx of migrants joining the Honduran caravan headed toward Mexico and the United States. Those fleeing are doing so to escape the extreme violence and poverty plaguing their country in the hopes of finding safety elsewhere. Last week, President Donald Trump tweeted a statement to the Honduran government regarding the migration, threatening to withdraw U.S. funding and aid if the president of Honduras did not stop the caravan from reaching the United States. He even went so far as to declare the situation a national emergency, despite the fact that such caravans have existed for years. With the midterms fast approaching, it is clear that Trump is using these migrants and unsubstantiated claims to invoke fear and xenophobia from his supporters in the hopes that they will remain loyal to his presidential agenda and the Republican party.

Much of Trump’s base has largely been in favor of his “America First” rhetoric, which often includes the degradation and criminalization of foreigners. In a series of tweets sent out on Monday, the president claimed “Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed” within the caravans. Not only is there zero evidence to verify this claim, but it also appeals to his supporters’ racial anxieties about foreigners—especially those from the Middle East—posing a threat to the country’s safety. It is evident that Trump is using these caravans as a tool to increase support of his nationalist agenda.

In addition to suggesting the presence of Middle Eastern terrorists, Trump has alleged that the caravans were funded by Democrats, while also blaming the party for not providing the votes necessary to change America’s “pathetic immigration laws.” While there has been no evidence that alludes to Democrats playing any role in mass migration, this also conveniently ignores the fact that Republicans have control over both the House and Senate to pass such legislation. Instead, Trump’s completely inaccurate attacks on the Democratic Party are a frantic attempt to divide and ensure a Republican majority in the upcoming election.

As the midterm elections quickly approach with Democrats unusually galvanized, Trump and his Republican colleagues are desperate to keep their control. Just as he did in 2016, Trump is preparing to win by appealing to the racist and bigoted tendencies of some of his supporters, even fabricating information to do so. It is apparent that Trump’s focus on these caravans is not based on facts, but rather on how he can create unease among his supporters in the hopes that doing so will lead to a greater Republican turnout in November.

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