With Anti-immigrant Messaging, 2024 Campaigns Begin

José López Zamorano | La Red Hispana 
Photo Credit: David Peinado / Pexels

We are 21 months away from the 2024 presidential elections, but the race has already started.

And sadly, conservative politicians have every intention of scapegoating undocumented immigrants – again – for America’s problems.

Many examples have already happened:

With appearances in New Hampshire and South Carolina this past weekend, Donald Trump launched his third run for the White House with a speech that was practically a copy of his anti-immigrant, xenophobic and racist message from 2015.

“They are sending people who are murderers, they are sending rapists. And they are sending, frankly, terrorists, or the terrorists come on their own, and we cannot allow this to happen,” Trump said.

Perhaps frustrated that registered voters appear to prefer Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as the Republican nominee, Trump not only falsely accused President Joe of imposing an open borders policy, but vowed to restore “within hours” the immigration policies of the Trump era.

Unfortunately, we all remember those policies: the separation of migrant children, the forced implementation of the Stay in Mexico program that ignored due process for tens of thousands of asylum seekers, and the indiscriminate application of Title 42 under which more than 2 million migrants have been turned away at the border during the COVID pandemic.

Another example: Texan Governor Gregg Abbott – the same one who sends helpless migrants from Texas to Washington at night and without appropriate clothing for the cold – appointed a former Border Patrol agent as the new “czar” of border security with Mexico. His message is clear: migrants are not welcome in Texas.

And as if that were not enough, the most radical Republicans in the House of Representatives are ready to push through a border control bill to keep the issue of migration in the minds of voters from now until the 2024 presidential election.

Everything seems to indicate that Republican politicians did not understand the memo that voters keep sending them. In 2022 they lost the historical advantage of the opposition in intermediate elections, barely managed to win the Lower House and did not recover the Senate; in 2020 they lost the White House by more than 7 million votes and in 2016 Hillary Clinton had 3 million more votes than Trump.

His immigration policies run against the grain of the multi-ethnic and multi-racial reality of the United States and are a recipe for losing strength at the national level. And launching again against migrants is a new formula for electoral failure.