Muslim Advocates Responds to Trump’s Claim that “Middle Easterners” in the Caravan

The following is a statement from Scott Simpson, public advocacy director for Muslim Advocates, regarding President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that “unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in” the caravan. This type of rhetoric has continues to be a defining characteristic of President Trump’s campaigning and governing and, according to a report released by Muslim Advocates yesterday, has led to a nationwide surge in anti-Muslim political campaigns:

The only real threat here is the rhetoric of President Trump. This fear-mongering is being echoed by candidates throughout the country. Trump is trying to appeal to only a narrow and very hostile sliver of the electorate that believes absurd anti-Muslim conspiracies like these. And yet, the effects are still tangible: hate crimes and attacks on mosques have skyrocketed since he started vilifying Muslims and people from the Middle East.

The families in this caravan are working much harder for the American Dream than Trump ever had to. These are families fleeing from the most dangerous nations on earth, walking thousands of miles, building rafts, and surviving the elements and hostile governments just for a chance to claim asylum here in the United States. It doesn’t matter what their skin color is or how they worship, the nation should follow the law and hear their claims. President Trump is inflaming bigotry, and that threatens the very basic freedoms and rights we all hold dear.