By Vernon Elliott
Billionaire and GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has ratcheted up his rhetoric against Mexico. After accusing Mexican migrants of being drug dealers and rapists, Trump is now threatening to use nuclear weapons against Mexico, unless it stops illegal immigration and pays for a wall.
“I will force them to stop the flood of illegals who are raping white women over here,” Trump said. “Once we drop a few nukes on those border cities, they’ll get the message.”
While Trump’s rhetoric might seem outrageous, other Republican presidential candidates have also suggested using military measures to stem illegal immigration. Dr.Ben Carson recently suggested using drone strikes on the border. Trump has also said he wants to get rid of birthright citizenship, which guarantees that children of illegal immigrants can receive American passports.
The anti-immigrant rhetoric has incensed the Latino community, which is now the nation’s largest minority group.
“The statements made by members of the Republican Party about undocumented workers are outrageous,” said Nancy Moreno, a spokesperson with the National Council of LaRaza. “Latinos are a powerful voting bloc, and if the GOP ever wants to win the White House again, they need to stop making these xenophobic comments.”
“If Republicans want to be competitive in the general election, they have to distance themselves from Trump on both illegal and legal immigration,” said Alfonso Aguilar, an official in George W. Bush’s administration and the executive director of the American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership, in an interview with The New York Times. “His proposal on birthright citizenship is very insulting to Latinos, and every day, this is the top story on Spanish language media. Right now, if the other candidates don’t respond to Trump, Latinos will buy the argument that Republicans agree with him.”