President Trump, in a fiery address Tuesday before the U.N. General Assembly, tore into open-border activists for pushing what he described as an “evil” agenda under the “cloak” of social justice, while warning Iran to abandon its confrontational course and delivering arguably his most robust defense yet of his nationalist philosophy.
“Today, I have a message for those open border activists who cloak themselves in the rhetoric of social justice: Your policies are not just, your policies are cruel and evil,” he said, accusing them of promoting human smuggling and the “erasure of national borders.”
“You are empowering criminal organizations that prey on innocent men, women and children. You put your own false sense of virtue before the lives and well-being of countless innocent people,” he said. “When you undermine border security, you are undermining human rights and human dignity.”
He delivered the broadside as part of a message promoting border security, in the U.S. and around the world. This dovetailed with a broader theme of railing against open borders and “globalists,” in the halls of the world body increasingly known for espousing that approach.
The president’s tone was steady and somber. But the message was that of a muscular nationalism that he has spent the better part of three years defining. As part of his speech, he later ripped into social media giants, media groups and academics — whom he accused of being part of a “permanent political class” that sought to undermine the will of the people.