Thursday October 1, 2020
President Trump‘s supporters on Wednesday broke into a “lock her up” chant about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) as the president warned of the dangers of allowing refugees to resettle in Minnesota.
Trump took aim at Omar during a rally in Duluth. The president brought up the first-term congresswoman and Somali refugee during a broader riff complaining about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden‘s pledge to significantly increase refugee admissions from numbers Trump has cut it to during his first term.
“Another massive issue for Minnesota is the election of Joe Biden’s plan to inundate your state with a historic flood of refugees,” Trump said. “Congratulations, Minnesota. Congratulations. No.”
“What is going on with Omar?” he continued, citing unproven claims tying Omar to a ballot harvesting scheme. “I’ve been reading these reports for two years about how corrupt and crooked she is. Let’s get with it. Let’s get with it.”
The rally crowd then broke into a chant of “lock her up,” which originated during Trump’s run against Hillary Clinton in 2016. It marked the latest escalation of attacks on Omar, however.
“Biden will turn Minnesota into a refugee camp” — Speaking in a state with one of the largest Somali populations in the country, Trump goads his fans into booing refugees, prompting “lock her up!” chants directed at Ilhan Omar pic.twitter.com/dT2yuHxFDZ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 1, 2020
The president has lobbed racist attacks at the congresswoman dating back to last year, when a rally crowd chanted “send her back” as Trump looked on. The president also spliced together footage of Omar with footage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Last week, the president complained that Omar shouldn’t be critical of the United States, asking “how is your country doing?” Omar, who is a U.S. citizen, arrived in the United States as a child after her family fled war-torn Somalia.
Minnesota has among the highest population of refugees per capita, but Trump has drastically cut how many refugees can enter the country annually. During Wednesday’s rally, he painted the prospect of those fleeing war-torn countries as a danger to Minnesotans way of life.
The president claimed Biden would propose a “700 percent increase in refugees coming from the most dangerous places in the world, including Yemen, Syria, and your favorite country, Somalia.”
“Biden will turn Minnesota into a refugee camp … overwhelming public resources, overcrowding schools and inundating your hospitals,” he added.
Biden’s platform does call for a significant increase in refugee admissions. The former vice president has pledged to admit roughly 95,000 refugees each year, or slightly higher than what the Obama administration set its limit at in 2016.
The Trump administration, by comparison, set its limit at 18,000 refugees for 2020.
Wednesday marked Trump’s latest trip to Minnesota, a state he narrowly lost in 2016 but which his campaign feels is ripe for flipping in November. Recent polls, however, have shown Biden with a steady lead there.