President Donald Trump on Wednesday released a racially divisive political ad that blames Democrats for allowing an undocumented immigrant who was convicted of killing police officers to stay in the U.S.
The 53-second video, which was pinned to the top of Trump’s Twitter feed on Thursday, refers to Luis Bracamontes, who was convicted of, and given the death penalty earlier this year for, killing two California police officers in 2014.
Bracamontes, who is from Mexico, was in the U.S. illegally in 2014 at the time of the murders. He had previously been deported from the U.S. twice, but returned to the U.S. illegally both times.
The ad — which comes amid a renewed push by Trump just days before the midterms to focus on illegal immigration — opens with text stating that, “Illegal immigrant, Luis Bracamontes, killed our people!”
“Democrats let him into our country … Democrats let him stay,” the text continues, over video from Bracamontes at his sentencing hearing earlier this year, during which he said, “I don’t f—–g regret that.”
In an expletive-filled rant, a smiling Bracamontes also says, “I will kill more.”
The ad then shows video footage of the migrant caravan heading north through Mexico, followed by text that reads, “Who else would Democrats let in?”
Trump tweeted the video with his own message, writing, “It is outrageous what the Democrats are doing to our Country. Vote Republican now!”
Democrats quickly slammed Trump for the ad, with some comparing it to the “Willie Horton” ads that ran during the 1988 presidential campaign.
“This is distracting, divisive Donald at his worst,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez told CNN, adding that the ad is the “dog whistle of all dog whistles.”
Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, tweeted that it was “the most desperate and vile ad since Willie Horton” and slammed Republicans for having “resorted to fearmongering.”
The now-infamous ad, which ran in support of George H.W. Bush during the 1988 campaign, used Horton’s case to attack Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis as soft on crime. When Dukakis was governor of Massachusetts, Horton, who was serving a life sentence for murder, raped a woman during a weekend furlough from prison. The ad played into racial fears and is credited for costing Dukakis the election, but it was also widely condemned.
In the last days before next week’s midterm elections, Trump has tweeted repeatedly tweeted about illegal immigration, putting the hot-button issue front-and-center.
He’s repeatedly railed against the caravan of migrants and refugees heading north through Mexico and, earlier this week, said he would send thousands of U.S. troops to the border and that he planned to end birthright citizenship with an executive order.