With a new campaign leadership team in place determined to let “Trump be Trump” again, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump began airing his first TV ads of the general election campaign focused on his favorite topic: illegal immigrants and a security crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump broke through a congested field of Republican candidates early in the GOP primaries with warnings about Mexican murderers and rapists gaining easy entry into the U.S. He vowed to expel 11 million illegal immigrants and build a wall to keep them from coming back.
More recently, his strong anti-immigration views have morphed into ominous promises to indefinitely bar most Muslims from entering the country, “extreme vetting” to prevent other dangerous foreigners from gaining entrance, and aggressive policing at home to root out foreign-born residents and their children who might commit terrorist attacks like the mass killings in San Bernardino and Orlando.
Trump’s campaign will spend $4.8 million over the next 10 days in the battleground states of Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, according to various reports. He will once again stoke resentment against immigrants and denounce Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s call for immigration reform, including granting a pathway to legal status or citizenship to many undocumented immigrants.
“In Hillary Clinton’s Americas, the system is rigged against Americans,” the narrator of the new ad intones. “Syrian refugees flood in, illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay, collecting Social Security benefits, skipping the line. Our border open. It’s more of the same, but worse.”
“Donald Trump’s America is secure,” he goes on. “Terrorists and dangerous criminals kept out, the border secured, our families safe. Change that makes American safe again.”
Trump, for sure, has some material to work with. There was a spike in the number of illegal immigrants who crossed the southwestern border into the U.S. in April, reaching the highest point in roughly two years. Central American families and unaccompanied children continued to challenge the Obama administration’s efforts to control the border.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures, more than 38,000 illegal immigrants were caught in April alone, smashing December's record of 37,014 illegals apprehended. The number of apprehensions in April averaged about 1,271 a day.
The ad is being aired just a day after Trump said in a speech that he now regrets causing “personal pain” in the heat of debates. Trump didn’t specify which remarks he regrets having made. However, on the immigration front, there are a number he might choose from, including his repeated immigrants from Mexico as criminals and rapists, his inexplicable attack on Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the Gold Star parents of a fallen U.S. Army captain, and his derisive remarks of a federal court judge, Gonzalo Curiel, who Trump said couldn’t be impartial to him in a court case involving Trump University because of his Mexican heritage.