Trump suggests tying gun measures to immigration after shooting that targets immigrants

Posted at 7:50 AM, Aug 05, 2019

President Donald Trump on Monday suggested tying immigration reform to strengthening background checks following a weekend in which the alleged shooter in El Paso, Texas, is believed to have authored a racist, anti-immigrant document targeting Hispanics.

Trump, who is scheduled to address the nation at 10 a.m. ET following two mass shootings that left at least 29 people dead, has previously expressed an openness to tougher action on gun control only to back away under pressure from Second Amendment activists and the gun lobby. He did not indicate in his tweets on Monday morning if he supported a sweeping gun control bill that passed the House with bipartisan support in February that requires universal background checks but has not been considered by the Senate.

"Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform," Trump wrote in a pair of tweets, adding, "We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!"

In Saturday's shooting in El Paso, where at least 20 people were killed, the alleged shooter -- identified as Patrick Crusius, of Allen, Texas -- is believed to have authored a four-page document online shortly before the shooting, filled with white supremacist language and racist hatred aimed at immigrants and Latinos and blames immigrants and first-generation Americans for taking away jobs.

The writer cited a fear that an influential Hispanic population in Texas would make the state a "Democratic stronghold." But he says "the Republican Party is also terrible" because the GOP is in his mind pro-corporation, which could lead to more immigration.

The author says he's held these beliefs for years, before Trump became President. But Trump's rhetoric -- including calling illegal immigration an "infestation" -- has been scrutinized in the wake of the shooting and its potential connection to increased violence against immigrants.

Shortly after the El Paso massacre, a shooter in Dayton, Ohio, opened fire in the city's Oregon District, a popular downtown area, leaving nine dead. The shooter, a 24-year-old male, was shot and killed by responding officers.