Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Michael Williams is trailing badly in the polls. Perhaps that’s why he has now unveiled a “deportation bus” that he plans to drive around the state as a way to drum up attention for himself.
In a video announcing the dubious plan, Williams—a state senator from suburban Cumming, GA—says that he’s not going to go on one of those “pansy political bus tours.” Instead, he brags, “we’ve got the deportation bus!”
Williams entered the gubernatorial race in June 2017 as a Trump loyalist. His campaign tactics look like they’re straight out of Trump’s anti-immigrant handbook.
The signage on the back of the bus reads: “Danger! Murderers, rapists, kidnappers, child molesters, and other criminals on board.”
“We’re going to implement my 287(g) deportation plan that’s going to fill this bus with illegals and send back to where they came from,” Williams continues in the video. He then goes on to talk about immigrants like they’re animals: “We’re not just going to track them and watch them roam around the state, we’re going to put them on this bus and send them home.”
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So far his tactics aren’t working. Polls show him in fifth place out of a field of seven candidates. It would seem that the “deportation bus” is more like a “desperation bus.”
What’s more, even if Williams did somehow turn his fortunes around, there’s another problem facing him: Georgia’s Latinx population has more than doubled since the year 2000.
Whites have already lost their status as the majority of residents in the 10 counties surrounding metro Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission.
The Latinx population grew in Georgia after thousands of laborers answered calls to help construction projects ahead of the 1996 Summer Olympics. (Some of the construction workers were undocumented, but immigration officials looked the other way so Olympic stadiums would be built in time for the games.) The Latinx population grew in part thanks to some Olympics-era babies, who are now just old enough to vote in their first elections. And children of immigrants skew more Democratic than even their parents.
So...good luck, Michael Williams!
Correction: This blog initially said Williams was in sixth place in the polls. In fact, he is in fifth place.