Trump slams Biden on immigration, insists Mexico will pay for wall
YUMA, Ariz. — Grappling for votes — and the spotlight — as Democrats hold their national convention, President Donald Trump reached back Tuesday to the signature issue of his 2016 campaign to deliver a broadside against Democratic rival Joe Biden over immigration.
As Democrats gathered virtually, Trump targeted voters in a pair of key swing states and sought to curry favor with women voters by pardoning Susan B. Anthony, a leader in the women’s suffrage movement.
In Arizona, one of the top 2020 battleground states, the president sought to paint a Biden victory in apocalyptic terms, insisting “the survival of our nation is at stake” in November, as he slammed what he hyperbolically labeled the “insane and lethal policies” of his opposition.
“Biden’s plan is the most radical, extreme, reckless, dangerous and deadly immigration plan ever put forward by a major party candidate,” he said. “It must be defeated. and it will be defeated on November 3.”
The president also worked in a last-minute stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for a briefing about damage from the derecho last week that has left thousands without power and caused catastrophic damage.
“We’ve come through for you, and we will always come through for Iowa,” Trump said, as the city’s mayor urged him to consider enhanced federal disaster funding for people there.
Trump highlighted his immigration agenda during his stop in Yuma. The president insisted that, in addition to fulfilling his pledge to build a border wall, Mexico was also paying for it — even though it’s not.
“They are paying for it,” he said as he stood in front of a replica of his wall.
“Mexico will be paying,” he said. “We’re figuring how much we have to charge.”
Before leaving Washington, Trump held a White House event to announce the pardon of Anthony, convicted of voting in 1872 in violation of laws permitting only men to vote. Trump’s pardon announcement came on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which ensured women the right to vote.
Anthony was arrested for voting in Rochester, New York, and convicted in a widely publicized trial. Although she refused to pay the fine, the authorities declined to take further action.
Some of Illinois’ most powerful Democratic women offered their pitch Tuesday to send Joe Biden to the White House — and not only because his name isn’t Donald Trump. But that was certainly part of it. “It is hard to consider Donald Trump the president of the United States. He really is a woman-hater,” north suburban U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky said during the Illinois delegation’s program ahead of the second night of the Democratic National Convention.
“Women in general to Donald Trump are nasty, don’t deserve equal pay for equal work, don’t deserve to control our own bodies. … But here in Illinois. It’s like breathing such incredible fresh air,” Schakowsky said, referring to the state Legislature passing the Equal Rights Amendment in 2018, and a law that protects abortion rights in Illinois even if the U.S. Supreme Court ever overturns the Roe v. Wade decision.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot again piled on Trump during the virtual convention session, saying the “Constitution is again being put to the ultimate test as our current president bends and tears at every page to reshape the document to his own will.”
“It was up to us in 2018 to send a message to Donald Trump, and ultimately expose a crack in his crumbling dictatorship, and women across Illinois stepped up in a big way to meet that challenge,” Lightfoot said, referring to west suburban congressional seats won in traditionally conservative districts by Democratic Representatives Lauren Underwood and Sean Casten.
Hours later, former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, the nation’s first Black female senator, cast Illinois’ votes for Biden during the Democratic National Convention’s roll call, saying the presumptive Democratic nominee has a plan to “help more people of color achieve the American dream of owning a home.”
“Joe Biden has a plan to end racist lending practices and help more people of color achieve the American dream of owning a home,’’ Moseley Braun said before casting the Illinois delegation’s votes. ‘‘This isn’t just about racial justice. It’s about strong communities, and more economic security for working families.”
Moseley Braun cast 122 votes for Biden, and 59 for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the second night of the virtual Democratic convention.
Carol Moseley Braun represents Illinois to nominate Joe Biden during Tuesday night’s roll call vote.