Senator Lindsey Graham took to Fox News to criticize the Biden administration's immigration policies and added another conspiracy theory to the litany of Republican conspiracy theories that have emerged from the network.
Graham made the erroneous claim that 40,000 Brazilians are crossing the border and heading for Connecticut.
These aren't poor migrants either, according to Graham. These are wealthier people with "designer clothes and Gucci bags."
You can watch a video of Graham's remarks below.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) bizarrely claims 40,000 Brazilians heading for Connecticut "wearing designer clothes and… https://t.co/AFb9o482pJ— The Recount (@The Recount) 1634132961.0
Graham began by complaining about news that the Biden administration is considering options to offer deportation protections to immigrants working in the country without authorization if they report an abusive employer.
The end of workplace immigration raids marked a reveral of Trump administration policy.
"Now, what [Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro] Mayorkas did today, calling off all the raids of worksite, is going to be another incentive for people to come, because the word is out."
"You come, you claim asylum, you never leave. The policy choices of Biden are all over the world now."
It was then that Graham made his absurd comments, recalling what he had allegedly seen during a recent visit to the U.S.-Mexico border:
"We had 40,000 Brazilians come through the Yuma [Arizona] Sector alone headed for Connecticut wearing designer clothes and Gucci bags. This is not economic migration anymore."
"People see an open America. They're taking advantage of us. And it won't be long before a terrorist gets in this crowd."
Graham's remarks have been widely criticized.
He has lost his mind. https://t.co/jXzAbFn4Os— Let People Vote 🌊 😷🍩 (@Let People Vote 🌊 😷🍩) 1634218081.0
American reactionary conservatism is so profoundly weird. https://t.co/aH54xhsaRY— Aaron Ross Powell (@Aaron Ross Powell) 1634160658.0
When you've kissed so much ass you start hallucinating "Gucci bags." https://t.co/yRbWJ9o6pe— Steve Silberman (@Steve Silberman) 1634187190.0
The @GOP; @LindseyGrahamSC have truly lost what minds they once had. That they have nothing to say; no issue to pur… https://t.co/l5b8Di4869— Dr Lou (@Dr Lou) 1634167332.0
The #GucciEnvy on display here has never been more palpable. Lindsey having quite the Paul Revere moment. https://t.co/vPAQThh2TR— Joshua (@Joshua) 1634167679.0
Who will protect us from wealthy, fashionable Brazilians? https://t.co/wbexdd0r2X— Josh Barro (@Josh Barro) 1634180610.0
I don’t know how I’ll sleep tonight knowing the country is facing this imminent threat of wealthy, high-fashion Bra… https://t.co/qlKEaBqTVZ— Ana Kasparian (@Ana Kasparian) 1634181413.0
Graham later defended his remarks in a call with Washington Post reporters. He claimed that Connecticut is one of three states––that he could not recall––that have attracted wealthier Brazilians.
"Usually when you go to the border, you see people who are dressed really haggardly and who look like they've been through hell."
"This time at Yuma, there were dozens that looked like they were checking into a hotel — and smartly dressed."
A spokesman for Graham even provided the news outlet with photographs of luggage and shoes taken at the border.
The Washington Post noted, however, that none of the photos provided showed Gucci bags or luggage.
Graham's comments bring to mind other conspiracy theories prominent Republicans have spread about migrants.
A majority of Republicans believe, with no evidence, that immigrants and tourists are responsible for the recent surge of Covid-19 infections, according to a recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
In August, Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul made the outlandish claim that Democrats are "plucking" sick children from the U.S.-Mexico border and planting them around the country as part of a larger plan to "seed" the highly contagious Delta variant across the country.
Recently, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading Covid-19 expert, stressed that "the driving force" of Covid-19 infections nationwide "is within our own country."