On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump shared a campaign video on Twitter of a convicted immigrant, claiming that “Democrats let him stay” in the U.S., fueling racial fears ahead of the U.S. midterms in what critics are calling a “racist” video.
The man in the video is Luis Bracamontes, who was sentenced to death for the killings of Det. Michael Davis Jr. and Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver in 2014. He was convicted of the killings in February 2018 and is currently in California’s San Quentin State Prison, according to Politifact.
The video, which was pinned to the top of Trump’s Twitter feed on Thursday, shows Bracamontes saying he will “kill more” police, with the captions “Democrats let him into our country,” “Democrats let him stay,” and “Who else would Democrats let in,” while interlaced with footage of asylum seekers from the caravan breaking down a barricade.
The campaign ad has been criticized as racist and divisive.
The video is also not entirely accurate.
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Bracamontes, who is from Sinaloa, Mexico, entered into the U.S. illegally through Arizona at an unknown date, and was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1996, according to the Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff`s Office. He was arrested on drug offences related to marijuana possession and sentenced to four months in jail, starting in January 1997, when Bill Clinton was president.
After spending time in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s tent-city jail, he was then handed over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and deported on June 3, 1997, during Clinton’s second term, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Bracamontes then found his way back to the U.S., as indicated by his arrest on drug charges in Phoenix in 1998, but was not deported.
His next arrest was on May 4, 2001, on marijuana charges in Maricopa County, and he was deported three days later, but he slipped back into the U.S. a short time later. This was while George W. Bush was president.
After 2001, Bracamontes moved to Utah, where court records show that between 2003 and 2009, he had 10 driving violations.
While Trump claims that Democrats let Bracamontes into the U.S. and let him stay, he was deported during a Democratic administration in 1997, but there was a failure to deport him in 1998.
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However, he also was able to avoid deportation while Republicans were in power from 2001 to 2008, and again by Democrats from 2009 to 2014.
Both Republican and Democratic administrations ramped up immigration enforcement from 2001 to 2014 with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security after 9/11, and Obama prioritizing enforcement during his first term.
Trump also links the migrant caravan and the message that Democrats would let in murderers to the U.S., but Democrats say that those who seek asylum should be allowed to go through the legal process, which means screening by Trump’s administration.