Facebook has pulled hundreds of xenophobic Donald Trump campaign ads that attacked 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s refugee plan by spreading a lie that they will bring COVID-19, saying in a statement that they will no longer run “because we don't allow claims that people's physical safety, health, or survival is threatened by people on the basis of their national origin or immigration status.” Um, so why were the ads allowed to go up in the first place?
The Trump campaign made the baseless claim as impeached president Donald Trump’s administration also seeks to slash refugee admissions for the next fiscal year to the lowest number in the program’s history, to just 15,000. The administration didn’t even hit the prior year’s cap of 18,000 refugees, admitting just over 9,000 refugees as of Aug. 31, CNN reported. The ads were also pulled as Trump, his wife Melania Trump, his aide Hope Hicks, and a number of other top Republicans have tested positive for the virus.
NBC News reported that the ads pulled by Facebook “included a video of Joe Biden talking about the border, overlaid with text about ‘the health risks’ from an ‘increase in refugees.’ It also alleged that Biden would increase the number of refugees arriving from Syria, Somalia and Yemen by 700 percent. The ads cited no sources.”
Back here in reality, the fact is that refugees are among the most vetted of immigrants coming to the U.S. (when they’re actually allowed to come to the U.S.), in a process that can last as long as two years. But for no reasons other than being a white supremacist government, the Trump administration has year after year slashed refugee admissions to low after low, in spite of the world “witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record,” the U.N. Refugee Agency said.
Biden's refugee plan begins to pull open the administration’s shut door, committing to an annual refugee target of 125,000. In a statement this past summer, Biden said Trump “has made clear that he does not believe our country should be a place of refuge,” and that “[a]s one of the co-sponsors of the 1980 Refugee Act, I believe that resettling refugees helps reunite families, enriches the fabric of America, and enhances our standing, influence, and security in the world.”
When confronted on their ad’s bogus claims, Trump campaign officials naturally had nothing of substance in response, instead claiming that "[w]hen it comes to leading our nation through this crisis and delivering the Great American Comeback, Americans can rely on President Trump."
But as CBS News reported, “The United States has reported more cases of the coronavirus than any other country in the world, with over 7.2 million total cases and 207,000 deaths, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.” As the Trump campaign claimed that “Americans can rely on President Trump,” Vice President Mike Pence reportedly led an event that Trump was supposed to appear at but could no longer lead, because he’s sick. And even when Trump tested positive after mocking Biden during the first presidential debate for wearing masks, Trump officials continued to not wear masks.
Just in case it wasn’t clear by now, it’s not refugees we should be fearing.