President Trump released a controversial ad via his Twitter account this week, with the accompanying message, “It is outrageous what the Democrats are doing to our country. Vote Republican Now! VOTE GOP”.
The ad was panned as the most racially charged ad since the infamous Willie Horton ad in 1988, with Democrats widely denouncing it and even some Republicans joining them. But the ad leaves out some important information and is based on a lie, according to the Washington Post.
The 53 second ad features Luis Bracamontes, who, while illegally in the US, murdered two deputies in the Sacramento area in 2014. The audio, filled with Bracamontes bragging about killing the cops in an expletive filled rant to the court, is overlaid with “Illegal immigrant, Luis Bracamontes, killed our people!” and “Democrats let him into our country. Democrats let him stay.”
After cutting away from the courtroom to images of the migrant caravan, the question, “Who else would Democrats let in?” appears. The ad ends with the words, “President Donald J Trump and Republicans are Making America Safe Again!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2018
What President Trump’s ad avoids telling is that Bracamontes had entered the US illegally and had been deported multiple times, during both Bill Clinton and the George W Bush administrations.
Bracamontes first entered the US in 1996, when he was 16, the Sacramento Bee reports. He was arrested in Arizona on marijuana charges, spent four months in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s tent-city jail, and was deported in June, 1997.
He quickly returned to the US and was arrested again in 1998. He was then released for “reasons unknown” by Sheriff Arpaio’s office.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Bracamontes was arrested in Maricopa County on May 4, 2001, while President Bush was in office. He was deported a few days later. He was back soon after: records show he was married in Feburary 2002. He was living near Salt Lake City, Utah in 2014 when he went on a drug fueled rampage that left the two deputies dead.
When asked about Bracamontes after he was charged with killing Deputy Danny Oliver and Detective Michael David Davis Jr, Sheriff Joe neglected to mention that his office released Bracamontes in 1998, and instead pointed out that his office turned Bracamontes over to ICE for deportation, according to the Washington Post. Arpaio, a Republican and Trump ally who was convicted in 2017 of ignoring a judge’s order and pardoned by President Trump, complained of “back door amnesty” being the cause of another tragedy and bemoaned federal immigration laws.
Luis Bracamontes faces the death penalty for murdering the two law enforcement officers.
Why It Matters
This ad, which skirts federal election laws by being released only on the president’s social media, is based on a lie. It is like the Willie Horton ad but even worse in terms of blatent racism. It ignores a simple truth: Luis Bracamontes entered the country while both Democrats and Republicans were in office. He was deported under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Joe Arpaio, a Republican, was sheriff when Bracamontes was released “for reasons unknown” in 1997 instead of deported.
Both Republicans and Democrats are equally guilty in this case.
The ad was created, sources tell CNN, to change the conversation from family separations to invasion. And it is working, the source says, because we are talking about it instead of healthcare.
The caravan of migrants seeking asylum from the US are approximately 1,000 miles away and, if history is any guide, will result in a few hundred individuals legally seeking asylum and not rushing the border. The president has claimed, without any evidence, that the caravan is full of gang members and terrorists and continues to dog whistle and fearmonger to his base.
Most likely, as soon as election day passes and votes are no longer needed, the caravan invasion will fade as an issue and Trump will move on to his next scam.
In the meantime, this ad will be passed on as gospel truth by Republican voters.