New York - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled his first campaign television ad on Monday. The 30-second “approved message” by Trump has everyone talking about it, but for a very particular reason.
New York – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled his first campaign television ad on Monday. The 30-second “approved message” by Trump has everyone talking about it, but for a very particular reason.
According to PolitiFact, some of the footage used in the billionaire’s ad in reference to immigrants crossing the Mexico-US border are actually images from African migrants crossing the Morocco-Melilla border.
The original footage was “time-stamped” May 1, 2014 by Italian TV network RepubblicaTV, when nearly 800 migrants tried to cross the border from Morocco to the Spanish enclave of Melilla to reach European lands.
After several media outlets reported about the video, Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was allegedly confronted about the legitimacy of the footage. He said the use of “Moroccans as opposed to Mexicans was intentional”.
“No sh** it’s in Morocco. The footage was intentional. It’s intended to demonstrate the impact of an open border,” Lewandowski told CNN.
“If we don’t do something to build a wall and stop illegal immigration, that’s what our country’s going to look like,” he added.
If the use of the video were intentional as his campaign manager declared, then aside from his anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric, Trump has just insulted Moroccans.
If the United States does not build a dividing wall between its territory and Mexico, it will “look like” Morocco, Lewadonski said implying that the images depict the reality of Morocco.
Analogy between Morocco-Melilla borders and US-Mexico borders “makes no sense”
According to the real estate mogul and his people, Morocco is synonym to hundreds of people crossing over an arid hilltop at once.
“This is not the reality of Morocco by any means,” analysts say.
For some American observers, the analogy Trump’s campaign tries to draw “makes no sense.” First, people who try to cross the Melilla border are not Moroccans. Second, Moroccans are no longer interested in emigrating to Spain, especially since the 2008 financial crisis.”
“Donald Trump seems incapable of distinguishing fact from fiction. When he is caught in a lie, he just makes up another lie. To disparage Morocco shows that his insults span the globe. It reflects so poorly on US politics,” Attorney Richard Goodstein, Advisor to Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign, told Morocco World News.
“One can only hope that Republican voters will become as turned off to him as the rest of the world is. Morocco is a beacon of stability. Only someone as twisted as Trump could try to paint a different picture,” he added.
Melilla and Ceuta, two Spanish enclaves located in Morocco’s territory, are the only two land borders between Africa and Europe. The two tiny territory are the cause of a long-standing territorial dispute between Morocco and Spain.
The two enclaves are almost 250 miles away from each other and security at the borderline has been strengthened as both Moroccan and Spanish forces protect the borders and a barbwire fence divides the land.
May be Trump is not aware that, according to Melilla authorities, despite the several attempts made by African migrants storming the Morocco-Melilla border in 2015, only 100 people successfully crossed over to Europe.
In 2014, before security was strengthened, more than 2,000 refugees made their way into Melilla through the same border. Due to a new immigration policy, Morocco is now cracking down on these migrants whom are not Moroccan, as Trump’s people suggest.
In February 2015, Moroccan authorities dismantled several migrant camps outside of Melilla. Spanish authorities claim that over 600 migrants attempted the crossing, but only 35 succeeded, while 5 were injured.
Over 1,200 migrants were detained during the raid, according to human rights organization Caminando Fronteras.
According to a report by Moroccan channel 2M, immigration is actually in the opposite direction – from Spain into Morocco, which skyrocketed over the past year.
The economic crisis in Spain pushed highly qualified workforce and ordinary workers to set out to Morocco. Spaniards arrive in Morocco in search of job opportunities.
More than 150,000 Spaniards are estimated to have crossed the Mediterranean into the North African country, mainly working in construction and real estate projects, especially in northern Morocco.