Trump says Biden's border policies are a 'conspiracy to overthrow' the US © Reuters. Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S., March 2, 2024. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

By James Oliphant

GREENSBORO, North Carolina (Reuters) -Republican frontrunner Donald Trump accused President Joe Biden on Saturday of engaging in a “conspiracy to overthrow the United States” through lax security policies that have allowed millions of migrants to stream across the U.S. border with Mexico.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, Trump appeared to be suggesting, as he has in the past, that Democrats are hoping to convert migrants who enter the country illegally into reliable voters.

Biden’s administration, Trump contended, seeks “to collapse the American system, nullify the will of the actual American voters and establish a new base of power that gives them control for generations.”

Trump elaborated at an evening rally in Richmond, Virginia, after repeating the allegations. Referring to the Biden White House, he said, “They’re trying to sign (migrants) up to get them to vote in the next election.”

Trump also accused Biden of providing “aid and comfort to foreign enemies of the United States” as part of his border policies.

In response, Biden’s campaign pointed to a border security bill in Congress Trump helped torpedo last month by urging Republicans to vote against it.

“Once again Trump is projecting in an attempt to distract the American people from the fact he killed the fairest and toughest border security bill in decades because he believed it would help his campaign. Sad,” said Biden spokesperson Ammar Moussa.

Under pressure from Republicans who accuse him of failing to control the border, Biden called on Congress last year to provide more enforcement funding and said he would “shut down the border” if given new authority to turn back migrants.

Last month, however, a bipartisan immigration bill stalled in the U.S. Senate after Trump told Republicans not to support it even though it contained several border-security measures they had sought.

In past statements, Trump has suggested that Democrats are purposefully allowing migrants into the country to grow their political support, a longstanding claim espoused on the far-right known as the “great replacement theory.”

Only U.S. citizens can vote in federal elections. But Trump has made border security a central tenet of his campaign as polls show voters in both parties becoming increasingly concerned about the steady stream of migration.

Both Biden and Trump toured the southern border along Texas in separate visits on Thursday, a sign they each view the issue as politically potent.

Trump frequently claims without evidence, as he did again on Saturday, that migrants have caused a spike in violent crime in U.S. cities.

At the North Carolina rally, Trump called the influx of migrants an “invasion” and said Biden would “turn our public schools into migrant camps.”

“We are not going to let them turn the USA into a crime-filled, disease-ridden dumping ground,” Trump said.

Jennifer Mercieca, a professor at Texas A&M University who has written a book about Trump’s rhetoric, said he often uses unfounded conspiracy allegations to undermine opponents with “self-sealing narratives” that can’t be proven true or false.

“Previously he’s said that Biden’s weakness was allowing weakness at the border, but here it’s a plot,” she said. “Trump has prevented the border bill from passing so that he can make these accusations against Biden.”

Trump was campaigning in North Carolina and Virginia ahead of their primaries on Tuesday, two of 16 nominating contests that will be held across the country that likely will push him close to clinching the Republican presidential nomination.


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