US President Donald Trump insisted on Monday with his anti-immigration rhetoric, before two rallies in Mississippi to support a Republican candidate still running for a seat in the Senate and getting into trouble for comments with racist connotations.
Central American migrants concentrated on the border with Mexico “will NOT enter the United States,” Trump posted on Twitter at dawn. “They will not enter our country,” he repeated in the afternoon in front of reporters, before flying to Mississippi.
Some 5,000 migrants, mostly Hondurans, arrived this week in the Mexican city of Tijuana, on the border with California’s San Diego, hoping to obtain asylum in the United States.
On Monday, the president urged Congress to finance the construction of a wall on the southern border with which he intends to curb illegal immigration and crime, one of his promises in his career to the White House in 2016.
The issue of the wall will be at the center of the debates on a partial financing law that must be approved before December 7 in Congress.
Lawmakers in the ruling Republican party want to get the best deal on the controversial wall before losing a majority in the House of Representatives in January.
Despite Trump’s triumphalist speech after the mid-term elections, the Democratic opposition scored a clear victory in the lower house and limited damages in the upper house.
In the Senate, the Republicans will reinforce their majority in only one or two seats (to 52 or 53 of the 100 that conform it), according to the result of the second round of the Senate race on Tuesday in Mississippi.
The suspense for this race, which must be defined in the second round according to state laws, surprised in such a conservative and pro-Trump state.
On November 6, a right-wing candidate, Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, garnered 41.5% of the vote against her main opponent, Democrat Mike Espy, who obtained 40.6%.
The votes of a third candidate, the extreme right-wing Chris McDaniel (16.5%), should ensure victory for the Republican. But Hyde-Smith, a former state legislator appointed to the US Senate in April to fill a vacancy, got into trouble by saying she would be “in the front row” if one of her supporters invited her to a public lynching.
He apologized in a recent debate, but insisted that his comment was “altered” by his opponents.
It was joke?
It was also recorded telling a small group at a university that it would be “a great thing” to suppress the votes of the progressive students, which Trump said is a misinterpreted joke.
“He certainly did not mean it,” Trump said Monday.
Other revelations about Hyde-Smith generated controversy in a state with the largest black population in the country (37%).
Jackson Free Press reported that both the candidate and her daughter studied in private schools designed to prevent white students from sharing classrooms with black classmates.
Hyde-Smith’s 2014 photographs were also published, posing with objects from the southern Confederate era during the Civil War, which supported slavery.
As a state senator in 2001, Hyde-Smith supported legislation to name a highway named after Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the Washington Post reported.
Several major companies, such as Walmart, AT & T and Major League Baseball, have asked Hyde-Smith to return their campaign donations.
In Mississippi the Republicans won during the last 30 years.
Espy, 64, was the first black elected to the House of Representatives in Mississippi. Now to go to the Senate in Washington, you need a very high voter turnout, since your percentage of the first round is approaching the ceiling of votes for the Democrats in that Republican state.
As a sign of the tense atmosphere of Mississippi’s racist past, two knots of hangings were found on Monday in front of the state Capitol in Jackson. The authorities told AFP that an investigation was opened.