Donald Trump has declared that 1 November will be marked nationwide as a “National Day of Remembrance for Americans Killed by Illegal Aliens”.
With three days left until the election, the presidential proclamation was designed to hammer home his message of law and order, and position himself as the candidate best placed to protect the United States.
“On this National Day of Remembrance, we pause to honor the memory of every American life so egregiously taken from us by criminal illegal aliens,” the document, released by the White House late on Friday, read.
"As sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and as American citizens, these precious lives are an irreplaceable piece of our national community. We solemnly stand with their families — our Angel Families — who have endured what no American family should ever have to suffer.
“Today, we recommit to ensuring that those responsible for these tragedies face justice, while taking every action to prevent these horrific acts from occurring in our Nation.”
Mr Trump said that his first priority was always protecting American lives, and emphasised the measures he had taken to support law enforcement.
He said he had been focused on “ending the disastrous immigration policies of previous administrations” and boasted that 400 miles of border wall have already been built, saying they are on pace to complete more than 500 miles by early next year.
Acting Homeland Secretary Chad Wolf gives a speech in front of a new section of the border wall on 29 October
When Trump first touted his plan to build a “beautiful” wall along the southern border, he said it would cost $8 billion — $12 billion maximum — and that Mexico would pay for it.
Mexico has not paid for it, and in October the administration said it had identified $15 billion, most of it from military funds, to build a total of 738 miles.
The cost works out at roughly $20 million per mile.
Mr Trump, in his proclamation, said that his administration ended “the terrible practice of catch‑and-release”, and was instead immediately detaining migrants caught crossing illegally.
He touted his move to deploy 4,000 National Guard personnel to the Southern Border in the last two years, and boasted of having deported more than 20,000 gang members and over 500,000 “criminal illegal aliens”.
There is no nationwide data on crimes committed specifically by “illegal immigrants”.
According to statistics from Immigration and Customs Enforcement published in ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations Report, in the Fiscal Year 2019 there were 1,923 total offenses for homicide, resulting in 374 criminal charges and 1,549 criminal convictions.
In the same year there were 16,425 murders in the United States, according to FBI data.