Far-Right Sheriffs Want a Citizen Army to Stop 'Illegal Immigrant' Voters

Boone Cutler, who has written a number of books with Flynn about “fifth-generational warfare”—military actions like social engineering, misinformation, and cyber attacks—described immigrants as “weaponized diaspora communities” who are being brought into the country to commit “terrorism.” Cutler announced, without providing any details, that he would be providing “irregular warfare training” to CSPOA officers ahead of the election.

John Ferguson, who owns an aerospace company that he claims tracks activity along the border, boosted the dangerous and untrue myth that immigrants are crossing the border with military training and could pose a serious threat to the US. “The problem is that a lot of these people, there’s times where over 90 percent of the people that are being apprehended are all fighting-aged males, Chinese, Central and South Americans,” he said. “I have been south of the border doing missions in Mexico, and I have flown my unmanned aircraft over the training camps where they’re training.”

The claim that “military-aged men” are being systematically brought across the border into the US is a conspiracy that has been around for some time and is increasingly gaining traction in mainstream GOP circles.

And though they appear to have reached a new pitch, these claims about immigrants voting have been around for years. Trump has been promoting bogus claims about “illegal” immigrants voting since 2016, when he said the reason he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton was due, in part, to many immigrants voting fraudulently.Trump repeated the claim in 2020 to explain the reason he lost to Biden in key swing states like Arizona—a claim he referred to in his speech ahead of the January 6 riot.

Trump hasn’t stopped: “Biden’s conduct on our border is by any definition a conspiracy to overthrow the United States of America,” Trump said last month during a speech in North Carolina. “Biden and his accomplices want to collapse the American system, nullify the will of the actual American voters, and establish a new base of power that gives them control for generations.”

There is no evidence to back up any of these claims, however, and research from the Brennan Center for Justice and other organizations has shown that the number of noncitizens voting in US elections is statistically insignificant. In one study from the Brennan Center on the 2016 election, researchers found that non-citizens were suspected (not even confirmed) to have voted in just 0.0001 percent of the 23.5 million votes cast.

Still, these assertions have continued to gain traction as tensions at the US-Mexico border escalate. Republicans have also continued espousing the belief that the US population is being systematically replaced by minorities, a conspiracy known as the great replacement. Despite the theory being widely debunked, the conspiracy has taken hold in MAGA and increasingly mainstream right-wing circles, with speaker of the House Mike Johnson recently announcing a bill to prevent noncitizens from voting in elections—even though that is not an issue.

Earlier this month, the far-right X account known as EndWokeness posted misleading statistics about a supposed dramatic rise in the numbers of migrant voters registering in the US to vote without IDs to its 2 million followers. The stats were quickly debunked by election officials, but the post, which is still on the site without a Community Note, has been viewed over 65 million times. Elon Musk, X’s CEO, shared the post with the comment: “Extremely concerning.”

At the CSPOA conference, Wayne Allen Root, a right-wing radio host who promoted the false conspiracy about former president Barack Obama’s birth certificate, repeated Trump’s claims about immigrant voters.

“The [2020] election was stolen in the six battleground states that would have given Trump a landslide win, instead of a landslide electoral loss,” Root said, without providing any evidence to back it up. “Those six states were decided by the votes of illegal aliens who came in through our open borders. That’s who’s voting. That’s our elections.”

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