Donald Trump announced at the outset that he wanted this election to be about racism and, despite a few pesky bombs and a mass murder, that has certainly been the core focus of his rallies and statements going into the midterms. With days to go, Trump is still trying to maximize xenophobic fear and convince America that brutalized families hundreds of miles from the border represents a threat that requires thousands of armed troops and a waiting network of concentration camps. The capper for Trump’s season of fear has been an ad so racist that it’s made even Republican dirty tricksters turn away in shame. This isn’t a dog whistle. Or a trumpet. Or a fog horn. It’s just racism.
But as it turns out, it’s not just racism. It’s also a complete lie. As reported by the Washington Post, the ad opens with the horrific words of violent murderer Luis Bracamontes who bragged of his killings at trial and threatened to kill more.
“Democrats let him into our country,” the ad’s script reads. “Democrats let him stay.”
Just one problem: It doesn’t appear to be true.
As it turns out, Bracamontes did enter the country at least three times. And was deported twice. Then he got back in during the Bush administration and … he stayed. He got married in 2002 and lived in both Arizona and Utah. The killer went on to live in the US for thirteen years before the meth-related killings in 2014.
But that’s not the worst part. In Bracamontes was picked up on drug charges in Phoenix and turned over to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Trump’s “tough, tough” friend, Joe Arpaio. Joe Arpaio, the guy who Trump pardoned for refusing a court order.
Turns out, it was just Trump passing along a favor. Because Arpaio was also in a forgiving mood when he had Bracamontes in custody. Despite repeat drug charges and being in the country without documentation, Arpaio released Bracamontes “for reasons unknown.”
In 1998, he crossed the border again and was arrested again. That’s when he was turned over to Arpaio. At that point, Bracamontes was on his second drug charge. And he had reentered the United States after being deported. And that first drug charge had been right there in Arizona, so it should have burned big and bold in any report that crossed Arpaio’s desk. In fact, it was Arpaio who held Bracamontes after his first charges. He was a repeat visitor to Arpaio’s tent city.
But … Arpaio let him go. He didn’t turn him over to ICE. Bracamontes didn’t serve out his time. Arapio let him go “for reasons unknown.” It was only after Bracamontes was arrested on another drug charge in 2001 that he was deported a second time. He reentered the country a third time under Bush.
The real story of the killer at the start of Trump’s ad is that he was deported under Clinton and returned under Bush. And that Joe Arpaio had a chance to deport him, but was too busy making people wear pink jump suits and march around in the sun to deal with a repeat offender.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to a request for comment.
How not surprising. But it would be interesting to learn just what “reasons unknown” were passed to Arpaio and pals that got the future murderer an express pass to the streets.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.