Trump’s Texas Border Visit in Final Days of Presidency
Tomorrow, President Donald Trump is expected to travel to the U.S.-Mexico border to highlight his administration’s work on border security, an issue which defined his 2016 campaign.
Trump’s visit to Alamo will mark the completion of 4,500 miles of border wall. It will draw attention to his administration’s efforts to reform what the White House described as the nation’s “broken immigration system.” As promised by his 2016 presidential campaign, hundreds of miles of fencing have been completed along the southern border. Despite Trump’s promises that Mexico would pay for the wall, the project has been funded by U.S. taxpayers. Furthermore, according to a Customs and Border Protection report, only 30 miles cover new areas as most of the work has replaced older barriers. The construction has elicited outrage over its devastating effects on endangered ecosystems and sacred Native American burial sites.
The visit will be the president’s first public appearance since he addressed supporters on Wednesday during the violent storming of the U.S. Capitol.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-D) of Texas’ 28th district responded to the upcoming visit: “I think he’s got much bigger issues than coming over and seeing his 14th century solution called ‘The Wall.’ But, as you know, he started his campaign attacking Mexico and building the wall and all that. And I think he wants to end his term the same way.”
Cuellar has previously voted several times to approve border wall funding. His position has been unpopular for many of his constituents, particularly in the Rio Grande Valley.
Fellow Texas Democrat Julián Castro also commented on Trump’s visit: “Trump started his campaign with lies to stir up white nationalism and incite hate towards immigrants. He’s ending his presidency the same way.”
Local officials in the Rio Grande Valley face pressure to prevent Trump’s visit. Community advocacy groups in the region have expressed concerns over the threat of violence and uncontrollable spreading of the COVID-19 virus.