News & Politics

Eric Swalwell's Race-Baiting: 'If You're Hispanic,' Trump Will 'Cage Your Children'

Eric Swalwell's Race-Baiting: 'If You're Hispanic,' Trump Will 'Cage Your Children'
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Political attacks seem to get coarser and coarser, but 2020 Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) seemed to redefine disgusting race-baiting rhetoric over the weekend. On Saturday, he warned all Hispanic Americans that President Donald Trump would break up their families, put their children in cages, and “erase” their existence in the census.

“If you’re Hispanic, there’s nothing [Donald Trump] wont do to break up your family, cage your children, or erase your existence with a weaponized census. And there’s nothing we won’t do in the streets, courts, and at the ballot box to stop him,” Swalwell tweeted.

In this one tweet, Swalwell repeated the blatant lie about “kids in cages,” and used race-baiting in a ridiculous attempt to demonize Trump and gain support for his longshot presidential bid. He also seemingly insulted all Hispanic Americans — by suggesting that none of them are legal inhabitants of this country. Perhaps he should meet prominent Republican Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), former presidential candidates who are themselves Hispanic and legal citizens who oppose illegal immigration.

“Why do you assume ALL Hispanics are in the country illegally? Have you met [Ted Cruz] our [Marco Rubio]?” journalist and communications strategist Emily Miller tweeted in response to Swalwell. “How about your opponent [Julian Castro]?”

As for “kids in cages,” this frequently repeated Democrat smear comes from a viral photo of a child in a cage. That photo did not come from Trump’s immigration policy, but rather from an orchestrated protest against the Trump administration. Other photos came from 2014, during the Obama administration.

Last May, Trump tweeted, “Democrats mistakenly tweet 2014 pictures from Obama’s term showing children from the Border in steel cages. They thought it was recent pictures in order to make us look bad, but backfires. Dems must agree to Wall and new Border Protection for good of country…Bipartisan Bill!” PolitiFact rated his statement “True.”

When it comes to breaking up families, this refers to the Trump administration policy of not detaining children in the cells with their parents after the parents are apprehended for breaking the law by crossing the border illegally. The only Hispanics with anything to fear from this policy are those who have crossed the border illegally. The issue is not race, but lawbreaking. The Trump administration would also “separate families” if the illegal immigrants were white, Asian, or black.

As for the census, Swalwell referred to the complaint about the Trump administration asking a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Asking about citizenship, the argument goes, will scare legal and illegal immigrants into silence, yielding inaccurate data. Yet the citizenship question is well-established, and was asked from 1890 to 1950. Democrats have a clear political incentive to try to get illegal immigrants counted as citizens, since California has more immigrants than any other state and inflated citizen counts would yield more congressional districts.

Ironically, however, a more accurate count enabled by the citizenship question would help black Americans, as J. Christian Adams pointed out. The citizenship question would aid in the enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, which forces a fairer allocation of power.

Democrat and liberal claims that the citizenship question is a tool of “white supremacy” or an attempt to “erase” the “existence” of all Hispanic Americans are mere gaslighting — attempts to confuse Americans into supporting their agenda.

Swalwell, a longshot 2020 candidate, has also threatened to use nuclear weapons against American gun owners who refuse to hand over their firearms. He may be a lower-tier candidate, but that does not make his horrifying remarks any better.

Swalwell’s fellow Democratic candidates should condemn these remarks and urge him to drop out of the race. Stigmatizing all Hispanics as illegal immigrants, spreading ridiculous fake news about the Trump administration, and suggesting the citizenship question will “erase” Hispanic Americans’ very “existence” is beyond the pale. Yet it seems Democrats are too busy attacking former Vice President Joe Biden for daring to treat segregationists with civility in the 1970s.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.