Bronx rallygoers reveal top 2 issues they believe will help Trump dominate in blue state

Attendees at former President Trump’s South Bronx rally Thursday came from a variety of backgrounds, but many said they had the same two issues at the top of their minds when choosing a candidate for 2024.

The economy and illegal immigration.

In a sea of red hats, American flags and pro-Trump banners, supporters of all stripes said they came for very similar reasons.

Tyrone, from the Bronx, said the 2024 election is a chance “for us to get our country back.”

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“I’m proud to see that people are waking up and seeing that we need this change for this country,” he said.

Illegal immigration was his top concern, he said, made worse by taxpayer money the government spends on housing and aid for migrants.

“Do it the right way so we know who’s who, and we know that we’re not letting [in] murderers, rapists … ex-cons from different countries,” he said.

Illegal immigration has skyrocketed during the Biden administration. Foreign spending continues while Americans suffer from the effects of inflation at home. And President Biden’s handling of these issues has voters in traditionally blue New York taking Trump more seriously this election season.

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“I think there’s a wave of people changing their minds about him, especially in the Black community that I know of,” said Marilyn Miller, a former NYPD officer who attended the rally from Queens. “They don’t like the policies that Joe Biden has put us through — inflation, the migrant situation.”

Democrats have set up multiple migrant shelters in her neighborhood, she said.

“We do need borders,” she said. “Every country has a border, and in the United States of America, he just lets everybody come across the border. Now I have them in my neighborhood, and they’re committing crimes.”

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K.T., an Orange County resident, drove an hour from the Hudson Valley to reach the rally, but he said his family is from the Bronx. 

“In terms of where we’re at now versus where we were, it’s like night and day,” he said. 

He said he is hoping a Trump win will bring inflation down. The 45th president later joked to the crowd bacon had gotten so expensive he gave up eating it.

Crystal from Queens was wearing a Trump banner as a cape but said she had never before been political until after Biden took office.

“Look around,” she said. “It’s clear and obvious that people are taking him way more serious right now, and New York is gonna turn red.”

For her, living thousands of miles from the border with Mexico, the effects of unchecked illegal immigration are seen all around her, she said.

“Close that freaking border now — not now, but right now, like yesterday now,” she said. “All of the effects of the border are all around us.”

The rally, at Crotona Park in the Bronx, traditionally a Democratic stronghold, attracted people from New York and surrounding states. Trump is the first Republican to make a campaign stop in the city in decades. And if he makes good on his vow to win his former home state, he would be the first GOP candidate to do so since the 1980s.

He only won single-digit support in the borough in 2016, but he made a significant improvement in 2020, and polls suggest he continues to make gains with Black and Hispanic voters.

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