Republicans are tying the Hamas-Israel conflict to the U.S. Southern border, the New York Times reports. High-level GOP members are taking part. “What happened to Israel could happen to America because our country has been invaded by millions of people from over 160 different countries,” Said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia more than 24 hours after the attack. Former President Trump also joined in on the trend. “You cannot forget that the same people that attacked Israel are right now pouring at levels that nobody can believe into our beautiful U.S.A. through our totally open border,” Trump said, a baseless claim that was met with applause at a campaign event in Clive, Iowa, a Des Moines suburb.
Since Trump paved his way to power on a nativist and hard-line approach to immigration, Republicans have invoked fortifying the border to address nearly every issue, in increasingly militant terms and often exaggerating the facts. Homeland Security officials have said they have found no specific or credible threat to the U.S. tied to Hamas. Attempts by politicians to link Mideast terror groups and Mexican criminal organizations have at times gained traction over the past two decades, but no substantial evidence has surfaced to support the claim, counterterrorism and insurgency experts said. Historians and political analysts warned that much of the heated language on immigration plays into far right and sometimes explicitly racist tropes that fuel fear with the potential for violence.