Since the start of his 2016 campaign, former President Donald Trump embraced a wildly anti-immigrant platform that saw him gleefully promote hysteria and belligerence toward every undocumented—and those assumed to be undocumented—person in the United States.
Trump often wielded this hysteria to be politically beneficial for him, including making delusional claims about migrant caravans heading to the border before midterms.
Now, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is taking a page from that book.
This week, McCarthy—along with other Congressional Republicans—visited the southern border in Texas, where they slammed President Joe Biden's developing immigration policies and blamed him for illegal border crossings.
McCarthy even claimed that "terrorists" were using the southern border to secretly infiltrate the country.
McCarthy claims people on "the terrorist watch list" from "Yemen, Iran, and Turkey" are being caught coming across… https://t.co/Foja3AwQSu— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1615833703.0
The House Minority Leader said:
"They're now finding people from Yemen, Iran, Turkey. People on the terrorist watch list, they're catching, and they're rushing it all at once."
The claim immediately raised eyebrows, especially for Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), who said that McCarthy was "either wrong or lying."
Weird as the Chairman of the subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations and a border state member of Congr… https://t.co/WPTcVrHGPB— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1615852391.0
Hi @GOPLeader I have have the same security clearance as you do. Can you have your office arrange for a classified… https://t.co/9w241LaXpn— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1615852541.0
McCarthy's uncited claims are similar to ones made by former President Trump, often to increase hysteria and build public support for a wall at the southern border.
Gallego wasn't the only one skeptical of McCarthy's assertion.
McCarthy is echoing the same unsubstantiated rhetoric employed by Trump and his allies. There's virtually no eviden… https://t.co/eSXhGAfD3o— John Haltiwanger (@John Haltiwanger) 1615900853.0
More terrorists were hunting for Mike Pence on Jan 6th than have been caught on the border. https://t.co/591edYJicY— stuart stevens (@stuart stevens) 1615863665.0
here we go, it’s time for all of MAGA world to dispatch their finest reporters to breathlessly report on anonymous… https://t.co/lUuoKHXpUb— kilgore trout, ted’s travel agent (@kilgore trout, ted’s travel agent) 1615904135.0
This isn’t happening. To be clear, this possibility on the southern border has been a concern to some of the NatS… https://t.co/3b5Pk0rskc— Angry Staffer (@Angry Staffer) 1615868414.0
There is literally no evidence of this. There are small numbers of people from Iran and Yemen who cross the border… https://t.co/POptA0ElGT— Aaron Reichlin-Melnick (@Aaron Reichlin-Melnick) 1615834316.0
People were glad to see Gallego press McCarthy on his claims.
Bluff called. Make him do it. People in positions of power lying with impunity need to be called out. https://t.co/B1L617AH3p— Irish Goddess (@Irish Goddess) 1615876052.0
Yes! Here is my Rep @RubenGallego speaking truth to power! 👏👏👏 https://t.co/luY2Cbthcn— DanielleInAZ 🙋🏻♀️🌵🐝 (@DanielleInAZ 🙋🏻♀️🌵🐝) 1615852834.0
Thank you, Ruben. Challenge em at every turn..... https://t.co/XAYvaxEBAc— mike b (@mike b) 1615863167.0
He makes it up as he goes I suspect. But good to challenge and ask for his info sources! https://t.co/Z4NxclNoVE— sharon m ruhland (@sharon m ruhland) 1615856850.0
It remains to be seen if McCarthy will grant his request.