Is Trump's Military Strategy Based on Anti-Immigration Fantasy Novel 'Camp of the Saints'?

After days of pushing a hard-line stance on immigration, President Donald Trump has vowed to send the U.S. military to guard the country's border with Mexico until his long-promised wall can be built.

Speaking Tuesday during a lunch meeting with leaders of the Baltic States, the president said the U.S. would "do some things militarily" until the country had "a wall and proper security."

"We're going to be guarding our border with the military," he later clarified. "That's a big step."

While Trump's plan to militarize the U.S.-Mexico border is not unprecedented, it has sparked comparisons to The Camp of the Saints, Jean Raspail's anti-immigration dystopian fiction novel, which has widely been denounced as a racist fantasy.

President Donald Trump has vowed to send military troops to guard the U.S.-Mexico border. Olivier Douliery/Getty

The book was published in 1973, and a synopsis describes it as depicting the "destruction of Western civilization" through a mass immigration to France and the West. The Southern Poverty Law Center has condemned the novel as a "favorite racist fantasy of the anti-immigrant movement."

The Camp of the Saints saw a return to the best-seller list in 2011 and has come into public awareness once again after being cited during a Fox News interview on Monday.

It was referenced multiple times by Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, in the months before he joined Trump's election campaign team in August 2016. Bannon used the book as a metaphor to describe the refugee crisis.

In an opinion piece Wednesday for CNN, journalist Michael D'Antonio, author of Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success, said Trump's recent immigration push came after spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida with present and former Fox personalities, including Sean Hannity and former Fox News executive Bill Shine.

"Notably, these Trump influencers have apparently been devouring The Camp of the Saints, a right-wing immigrant fear fantasy novel which has surfaced on Fox News in recent days—including on Tucker Carlson's show," D'Antonio wrote, referring to the interview Monday on Tucker Carlson Tonight.

In the interview, conservative Canadian author Mark Steyn cited the anti-immigration book, claiming it "actually predicted what is happening before our eyes," during a discussion with Carlson on Trump's outrage over a "caravan" of Central American migrants heading toward the U.S. border as part of an annual Holy Week event.

Related: Trump warns caravan of immigrants 'had better be stopped' before reaching U.S. 'weak laws' border

The president had tweeted on Monday that "Mexico has the absolute power not to let these large 'Caravans' of people enter their country. They must stop them at their Northern Border." He later vowed to "protect" the U.S. southern border by sending the military to guard it.

"There was a French novel published 45 years ago," Steyn said, commenting on Trump's statements. "The Camp of the Saints. A lot of people on the left don't like it, but it actually predicted what is happening before our eyes."

"A bunch of people got in a ship in India and sailed for the South of France in this novel, and all of the media commented...'What's the big deal about this? We are the ones—we are the sinful ones. We are the ones who have the stain of all of the wicked -isms on our past, imperialism, colonialism, racism. These people are the virtuous ones, let them in, and they will redeem us,'" Steyn added.

The "caravan" the president mentioned was a group of more than 1,000 Central American migrants marching through Mexico toward the southern border of the U.S. as part of a humanitarian effort led by an activist group called Pueblo Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders. The group aims to provide physical and financial assistance to migrants and refugees seeking asylum.

Trump's response to the Pueblo Sin Fronteras action prompted a number of political commentators to draw comparisons to Camp of the Saints.

American-Canadian political commentator David Frum, a senior editor at The Atlantic and author of Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic, accused Trump of "working hard to make April Camp of the Saints month for the right-of-center America," in a tweet posted Monday.

He said the president's comments provided "an early glimpse of his strategy for holding Congress in November."

It is unclear whether the president has read or is aware of The Camp of the Saints. However, the book was cited at least three times by Bannon in 2016 to describe the effects of the refugee crisis on the U.S. and Europe in the months leading up to his joining Trump's election campaign team.

In April 2016, Bannon said of the refugee crisis on Breitbart News Daily: "When we first started talking about this a year ago we called it the Camp of the Saints off of the apocalyptic novel written in France back in the 1970s that people said was racist and nativist. I mean, this is Camp of the Saints, isn't it?"

Is Trump's Military Strategy Based on Anti-Immigration Fantasy Novel 'Camp of the Saints'? | U.S.