President Donald Trump tweeted a campaign ad this week as the midterm elections draw near featuring convicted cop killer Luis Bracamontes and telling Americans it was Democrats who let him into the country and Democrats who let him stay.
But according to the Sacramento Bee, Trump’s video does not tell the whole truth of the matter: Bracamontes came and went under both Democratic and Republican presidents and was even released for reasons unknown by former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The tweet features video of Bracamontes spewing profanities while on trial in Sacramento County Superior Court, a frequent occurrencein the years of court hearings he faced.
> But the president’s claim that “Democrats let him into our country” is not entirely accurate, and neither is the claim that “Democrats let him stay.”
What is the truth?
> Bracamontes, who is now on death row at San Quentin State Prison for the October 2014 slayings of Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Davis Jr., first came into the United States in 1993, when he was 16 and Democrat Bill Clinton was president.
> The Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff’s Office has told The Sacramento Bee previously that he was first arrested in Phoenix in 1996. Prosecutors in Phoenix say he was arrested Sept. 25, 1996, on deportable drug offenses related to marijuana possession and sentenced to four months in jail starting in January 1997.
After serving his sentence, Bracamontes was turned over to federal immigration agents and deported during Clinton’s second term, on June 3, 1997.
Not long after, he was back in the U.S. and arrested on drug charges again in 1998 in Phoenix — only this time, Arpaio’s office let him go “for reasons unknown”, the Bee reported.
Arpaio is a staunch Republican.
Bracamontes’ next arrest came in 2001, again on drug charges and again in Maricopa County. Within three days, he was deported back to Mexico, this time during Republican President George W. Bush’s tenure.
Bush was still president when Bracamontes returned, though his exact re-entry date is unclear; however, he did manage to marry in Maricopa County in 2002, during the time Bush was president.
> By then, Bracamontes had been living near Salt Lake City where he remained until 2014, when he and his wife embarked upon a methamphetamine-fueled trip that ended with their arrests in Placer County after the deputies were killed.
Trump has used the crimes of undocumented immigrants to tarnish the group as whole on multiple occasions since he began running for office in 2015.
In this instance, the president is using Bracamontes to paint as dangerous the entire caravan of Central American migrants headed to the U.S. border — a goal he has also pursued by making baseless claims about members of ISIS being among the group, as noted by HuffPost.
> Demonizing members of the migrant caravan seeking refuge in the U.S. from Central American violence has become a thrust of Trump’s midterm campaigning. He has called them invaders and claimed that “bad people” and even Middle Eastern terroristsare among those traveling north — though he has conceded he has no evidence for his statements. A senior counterterrorism expert in the Trump administration told CNN that there’s no evidence “ISIS or other Sunniterrorist groups are trying to infiltrate the southern U.S. border.”