Trump puts migrants at the centre of campaign

Shortly before the midterm elections, US President Donald Trump has announced that he will place up to 15,000 soldiers on the country's southern border in a bid to deter thousands of migrants who are heading towards the US via Mexico. Sealing off the country will not make it more secure, say some observers. Others counter that Trump is right to defend the borders.

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Die Welt (DE) /

Trump is just being honest

Trump isn't all that wrong when it comes to immigration, suggests Die Welt:

“What are borders for, if anyone can cross them at will? What country (with the exception of Germany in 2015) opens its doors to thousands of migrants without any controls, without due process of law?... What do we mean when we say we can't have a repeat of 2015? If we're honest with ourselves, the answer is obvious: It means closing borders - whether national or European - if necessary. Exactly what Trump is doing on the other side of the Atlantic. The Germans are doing it too, but sneakily. They look for partners outside the EU who can take over the dirty work: from the Serbs to the Turks, from the Libyans to the Moroccans. Trump is just being honest, in his usual, boorish way.”

Upsala Nya Tidning (SE) /

Epicentre of a polarised debate

Immigrants are becoming the key campaign topic, Upsala Nya Tidning observes:

“Migrants from Central America - many of whom have no papers - were often regarded as second-class citizens but have played an important role for the economy. ... All US presidents wanted to do something about illegal immigration, but also left certain loopholes open. ... However, since 9 November 2016 the sword of Damocles has been hanging over everyone - including those who have been in the US for generations. Trump is looking very closely at the caravan that has become the epicentre of a polarised political debate. ... Was it perhaps the philanthropist George Soros who paid the Honduran migrants to get in the trucks and pour over the US border? This is just one example of the claims that are being used in all seriousness as arguments ahead of an election in the world's biggest economy.”

Mérce (HU) /

Migrants good for scare tactics

The caravan of refugees from Honduras provides a convenient opportunity for the political right-wing in America, and elsewhere too, to raise their anti-refugee rhetoric, rages the left-liberal news portal Mérce:

“Over here, legislator István Hollik (from the Christian Democratic Party KDNP) is calling the refugees from Honduras the 'Soros Express' (implying that George Soros is paying them). And over there in the United States, they are stirring up panic about an impending 'occupation.' Trump promised to send 10 to 15,000 troops to the Mexican border to halt the caravan, and claimed that these refugees aren't even really from Honduras but are terrorists from the Middle East. But he later admitted there was no proof of that.”

La Libre Belgique (BE) /

Sealing off the US won't make it safer

La Libre Belgique explains why Trump's latest initiative will hardly improve security in the US:

“All these initiatives have a single objective: to turn security into the key topic of the midterm elections and prevent the Democrats from gaining the majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Republicans used a similar strategy after 9/11. Studies show, however, that three-quarters of the terrorist attacks committed since then were not carried out by Latin American 'invaders' or jihadists or other evil foreigners, but by US citizens with close ties to the far right. As [news anchor] Don Lemon said on Wednesday evening on CNN: 'The biggest terror threat in this country is white men.'”