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Trump uses migrant caravan to rally base ahead of midterms

President Donald Trump waves after speaking at a campaign rally Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, in Mesa, Ariz. Trump is in Arizona stumping for Senate candidate Martha McSally. (AP Photo/Matt York)

WASHINGTON (SBG) - More than a week ago, a caravan of Central American migrants started their journey from Honduras to the United States. On Monday, most of the estimated 7,200 migrants were in southern Mexico, and about 1,000 miles from the nearest U.S. border crossing.

As the caravan continues to grow, President Trump is using it as a political issue to rally his base ahead of the midterm elections.

At a political rally in Houston, Texas for Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday night, President Trump slammed Democrats over immigration.

"The Democrats don't care what their extremist immigration agenda will do to your neighborhoods or your hospitals or your schools," Trump declared. "They don't care that the mass illegal immigration will totally bankrupt our country."

The president is turning up his anti-immigration rhetoric, less than two weeks before Election Day. He has declared the caravan of migrants a national emergency and vowed to send military troops to the border to stop them from entering the nation. Trump also claimed, without evidence, that Middle Easterners were mixed into the caravan.

“This is a humanitarian issue, these people are fighting for their children’s lives, they are fighting for their own lives, and they are trying to make a better life for themselves,” said Former National Political Director for the Democratic National Committee, Raul Alvillar,

He believes Trump’s messaging will backfire and motivate Democrats instead.

“[Trump] is trying to use whatever he can to see what sticks,” Alvillar said. “I think he comes off, as a president being kind of desperate in trying to see what’s happening, because he knows that his base is not as energized as they need to be, and Democrats are.”

Alvillar says the Democrats are focused on running on the issues they say are important to Americans.

“If Democrats keep running on the issues, like healthcare, better jobs, better wages, we’re going to do well,” he said.

If the migrant caravan keeps up their current pace, it could take more than month for them to arrive at the U.S. border, past the time voters have gone to the polls.

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