Lara Trump, the daughter-in-law of Donald Trump, urged Americans living on the Mexico-U.S. border to "arm up and get guns and be ready" to use potentially lethal force amid a recent surge in border crossings by people from Central America.
"I don't know what you tell the people that live at the southern border," Trump ranted during a Saturday interview on Fox News. "I guess they better arm up and get guns and be ready, and maybe they're gonna have to take matters into their own hands."
"People should never make this dangerous journey here," she continued. "It's bad for Americans. It's bad for the migrants. It's bad all around."
Trump's remarks were widely rebuked online.
Russell Foster, a Democrat currently running for Congress in Texas, called her comments "dangerous," saying: "The former president's daughter-in-law is calling for people to shoot immigrants. It's worse after multiple mass shootings over the last few days in Texas and elsewhere. This could lead to an uptick in hate crimes across the country."
Last year, a white nationalist shooter opened fire in an El Paso Walmart, killing 23 shoppers and injuring the same number. Law enforcement later learned that the gunman had specifically targeted Latinos because he felt that America was facing a migrant "invasion."
Others on Twitter expressed a similar sentiment to Foster, noting that Trump's comments sound like an explicit call for violence.
"Lara Trump can tell people to buy guns and shoot people at the border... no problem," tweeted Pam Keith, a Democratic congressional candidate in 2020. "We are in the twilight zone, folks."
David Weissman, a columnist for Demcast, echoed: "How are these people able to incite threats? This is not free speech and Lara Trump should be held accountable before some idiot follows through with her advice."
"Just casually saying on a national broadcast that people should take up arms and start shooting immigrants," chimed photojournalist Zach Roberts. "This is where we're at."
Trump's comments come amid a record number of illegal crossings at the southern border. Last month saw 180,000 crossings – the highest its been in two decades, according to The Telegraph.
Over the last several months, Republicans have demurred President Biden for instituting border policies they've deemed "too lax," resulting in a record influx of immigrants that U.S. border facilities have struggled to contain.
Last week, Vice President Kamala Harris' first trip to Guatemala, where she cautioned the country's residents against illegally immigrating, telling them: "Do not come." Her plea was widely castigated by lawmakers, immigration rights organizations, and members of left-wing media.