As Donald Trump prepares to visit the border Thursday, he's Enemy No. 1 on for immigrant advocates. .
Since announcing he's running for president, the real-estate mogul has managed to call illegal immigrants "rapists" -- "Some, I assume are good people," he caveated -- and drug-toting criminals. It cost him his relationships with Univision, NBC, Macy's and even Flo Rida.
But what's most interesting is that this is hardly something new for Trump. As immigrant advocates will be the first to tell you, Trump was stirring this pot long before launching his quixotic presidential campaign. In fact, we found a dozen instances dating back to last year of him linking undocumented immigrants to terrorism, the potential spread of Ebola and otherwise destroying America. (Oh, and Trump also wants to build a really big wall between us and Mexico -- paid for by Mexico, somehow.)
In fact, saying bad things about illegal immigrants is kind of something Trump does a lot. And his comments in his announcement speech were basically repeating what he said before. We all just took notice.
Let's recap, starting with the most recent.
On Wednesday, shortly after Macy's and NBC announced they were pulling their business deals with Trump, Trump fired back to clarify he was actually the one terminating the contracts. In a statement, he had this to say about the immigrant advocates who put pressure on Macy's and NBC to dump Trump:
"Clearly, NBC and Macy’s support illegal immigration, which is totally detrimental to the fabric of our once-great country."
2. "Rapists," "killers," "murderers"
Next. A day after Trump's bizarre, completely politically incorrect and often-offensive campaign announcement, he defended his comments, particularly on South and Central American undocumented immigrants, in a June 17 interview with MSNBC:
"They’re sending us not their finest people. And it’s people from countries other than Mexico also. We have drug dealers coming across, we have rapists, we have killers, we have murderers. I mean, it’s common sense. What do you think they’re going to send us their best people, their finest people? The answer is no.”
At a May 15 campaign stop in Omaha, Trump said he'd build a wall to keep undocumented Mexicans out of the country and make Mexico pay for it:
"Because what they’re doing to us is disgusting.”
4. They're Muslims, not Christians
And it's not just Latin American immigrants who are the target of Trump's insinuations. Here's what he had to say May 17 at an Iowa National Security Summit:
"Muslims can come in, but other people can't; Christians can't come into this country, but Muslims can."
5. "Drug lords," "gang members"
Back to Latin American illegal immigrants. In an April 22 interview with conservative talk show host John Fredericks, he echoed much of what he said in his announcement:
"The ones we are getting are the drug lords, we’re getting the gang members, and we’re getting some people that are fine, but we’re not getting the best and finest from South America, believe me."
6. "Ripped this country off"
Trump also wants to build a wall to keep these "gang members" out -- that Mexico would pay for. He said as much in a May 20 interview with The Brody File on the Christian Broadcasting Network
"I would build a wall like nobody can build a wall. And nobody comes in illegally anymore. … I would have Mexico pay for it. Believe me. They will pay for it because they have really ripped this country off. They have really ripped this country off. They have really taken advantage of us both economically and at the border. They will pay for that fence."
7. More "rapists," "killers" and "drug lords"
That same interview on CBN, Trump compared many undocumented immigrants to rapists and criminals:
"Now the Southern border everybody comes in. You just walk by. So we are taking hundreds of thousands of people. Some good people and some rapists and some killers and drug lords and everyone else and they are flowing through the southern border."
Trump said in a March 25 interview with Iowa-based conservative podcast host Steve Deace that illegal immigrants are "destroying" America:
"People are flowing into this country by the millions, not by the thousands, by the millions, and destroying the fabric of the country."
9. Potential "terrorists"
Also, this fence/wall contraption has "gotta be a beauty," Trump said at a Jan 24 Iowa Freedom Summit, where he compared undocumented immigrants to terrorists, criminals and other derogatory things into one breathless paragraph:
"We don’t have the best coming in, we have people that are criminals, we have people that are crooks, you can certainly have terrorists, you can certainly have Islamic terrorists, you can have anything coming across the border. We don’t do anything about it. So I would say that if I run and if I win, I would certainly start by building a very, very powerful border."
10. Half are "criminals"
At that same summit, Trump bashed GOP frontrunner and former Florida governor Jeb Bush's past comments that immigrants came to America illegally "as an act of love." He said:
"Half of them are criminals; they’re coming for love?”
11. Potential Ebola spreaders
Let's go all the way back to October 2014 here. As the Ebola crisis in West Africa escalated, Trump pointed his finger at illegal immigrants for helping it spread in an Oct. 14 interview on Deace's podcast:
"Now especially with Ebola, how about when that starts happening down in that area and people just walk into the country."
12. "Taking your jobs"
Trump's rhetoric wasn't nearly as inflammatory in early 2014, but he still had a lot to say about immigrants, including this warning for the audience at the March 6 Conservative Political Action Conference:
"They are taking your jobs. And you better be careful."
Trump has promised to spend "as much as it takes" to stay in this presidential race. And getting these headlines seems to only fuel his desire for more. So expect more bluster on illegal immigration from Trump in the days and months to come.