Donald Trump may have received “swelling cheers” when he said that “many of these gang members are illegal immigrants,” during a rally in Dallas, Texas on Monday night. But his xenophobic rhetoric is also inspiring supporters to act out their hatred against Latinos and immigrants.
Since Trump announced his Republican presidential run in mid-June, he’s received his greatest applause when he has forcefully equated undocumented immigrants to the scourge of the earth, namely criminals, rapists, and drug dealers. He has also continuously vowed to send undocumented immigrants back to their countries of origin.
In response, some of his fans have been emboldened to take harsh positions of their own. Here are six times that Trump supporters took his immigration positions to the extreme:
1. ‘Clean my hotel room, b–.’ According to Politico, a Trump supporter took over a microphone connected to loudspeakers at the Dallas rally and shouted, first in Spanish, then in English, “The Mexicans are the hairs of ass–. Viva Donald Trump.” The woman then told a female protester, “Clean my hotel room, b–.” A man also mocked the protesters, stating, “somebody press 1 for English.”
2. ‘If it ain’t white, it ain’t right.’ During a Iowa-Iowa State football game on Saturday, a Caucasian woman was filmed ripping up a Latino protester’s poster. On Monday night, the woman identified as Shelby Mueller, 20, released a statement indicating that she is “a Christian” who made “an ignorant mistake.” Another man reportedly told an immigrant advocate at the rally, “If it ain’t white, it ain’t right.” And an Iowa State University student said that a woman “physically grabbed my face.”
3. ‘Go home.’ Last week in Washington, D.C., immigrant advocates were spat on and shoved during a Trump rally against President Barack Obama’s Iran deal. They were told to “go home.” A man also pulled the hair of U.S. citizen Erika Fuentes, who said that she was at the rally to “stand in solidarity with the immigrant community.”
4. ‘Get out of my country.’ There have been a number of confrontations between Trump supporters and immigrant advocates at Trump events. Jorge Ramos, an Univision journalist and U.S. citizen, was told to “get out of my country” at a Trump press conference last month.
5. ‘You can shoot all the people you want that cross illegally.’ After a Trump rally in Mobile, Alabama last month, a supporter joked to AL.com, “OK, you want to come to the border, $25 for a permit, you can shoot all the people you want that cross illegally.”
6. ‘Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.’ Two brothers beat and urinated on a homeless Latino man in Boston last month, stating that their actions were inspired by the Republican frontrunner. One brother reportedly told police, “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.” Trump initially tweeted that “people who are following me are very passionate,” before later stating that he “would never condone violence.”
Trump has made an “incredible surge among the Tea Party supporters,” with 56 percent having a favorable view of him just one month after he announced his candidacy, the New Yorker reported last month. Trump has also won over nativists, winning the endorsement of a neo-Nazi news site, White nationalists, and a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
Trump’s comments are having the intended effect among some voters. When Dr. Drew Pinsky brought together an audience of Trump supporters, one woman said that Trump was tapping into the “truth,” while a man indicated that he was grateful to Trump speak out against criminals crossing the border.
Immigration activists have criticized Trump, saying that he’s bad for the GOP brand as the Republican Party attempts to appeal to Latino voters. A MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist poll released Monday indicated that the majority of Latinos hold negative views of Trump, including 60 percent who said that they have a “very negative” impression of him.
In comparison, just 28 percent of Republicans view Trump negatively. According to CNN, Republicans are “most apt to have selected deportation as a top or second priority” among the issues they care about going into the 2016 election.