Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart’s statement on former President Trump’s “poisoning the blood” anti-immigrant remark

(Waukegan, IL) – Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart issued the following statement today in response to former President Trump’s remark from this past Saturday. Trump said undocumented immigrants were “poisoning the blood of our country,” echoing statements made by Hitler.

“In attacking immigrants over the weekend, Donald Trump used evil and racist rhetoric that directly quoted Hitler, the Nazis, and other white supremacists. Aside from this despicable language, he also specifically stated that the government should use religious tests in this country.  

“This isn’t the first time that Trump has invoked Hitler or the Nazis in public statements, and it won’t be the last. Make no mistake, these are intentional references. Trump, the Republican Party, and those who fail to denounce their rhetoric are telling the world who they really are, and we should listen. Trump dreams of a dictatorship powered by racial and religious bigotry. 

“Democracies face difficult debates and decisions constantly. Partisanship has made fair debate much harder. But neither frustration with partisanship nor partisanship itself should impact whether we come together to condemn Trump. He should be denounced for what he is and what he believes – not his party. 

“How candidates and public servants feel about Trump and how they publicly react to Trump’s explicit hatred reflects on their values and shows how they will govern. Values matter when it comes to library districts, school boards, legislatures, sheriff’s departments, county clerk’s offices, and courthouses. It will take all of these institutions to protect our democracy from Trump’s new fascism. 

“As the Lake County State’s Attorney, I am particularly concerned about how Trump’s rhetoric is driving hate crimes. Our office has charged more hate crime cases in the last three years than the prior 10 years combined. Hate has no home in Lake County, and it should have no home in the second most popular political party in the United States.”