Trump Plans Visit To Rio Grande Valley And Border Wall On Tuesday
This post has been updated.
President Donald Trump will visit the Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday, only days before the end of his presidency.
Trump is expected to travel to the border city of Alamo to "mark the completion of more than 400 miles of border wall — a promise made, a promise kept — and his Administration's efforts to reform our broken immigration system," White House Spokesman Judd Deere said on Sunday.
South Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar explained to TPR on Saturday that he confirmed the visit with the Federal Aviation Administration and people on ground from the Department of Homeland Security.
The Laredo Democrat, who represents part of Hidalgo County, said Trump was expected to arrive at Harlingen’s airport and travel to a nearby area to showcase border wall construction. While there is no border wall construction within Alamo, there are projects south of the city.
"I guess in his mind this is the priority, but right now, during a pandemic, he’s got the wrong priority," Cuellar said. "The priorities should be fighting the pandemic, healing the country from what happened last week, but as you can tell, he’s been obsessed with the border wall these last four years."
Cuellar added that not all border wall built under Trump is completely new.
Mark Morgan, the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, also touted last week the completion of about 450 miles of border wall across California, Arizona, El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley. But only 80 miles of that work includes new wall or fencing in areas where there had not previously been a barrier before, according to CBP.
TV station KVEO and the Progress Times first reported the plans for the trip.
It would be Trump's second trip to the area. He first traveled to the area in 2019 to tour the U.S.–Mexico border.
Residents and advocates in the region told TPR they feared the visit could bring more violence, only days after pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Roberto Lopez, community outreach coordinator for the Texas Civil Rights Project, said he remembered tensions flaring among the hundreds of protestors and supporters during Trump's first visit.
“I feel like the tensions have quadrupled since then," he said. "I feel like it’s kind of like a time bomb. … I really hope that local [elected officials] here are going to be calling for this cancellation because this is the last thing we need as a community right now.”
The Texas Civil Rights Project, which has worked with landowners against Trump’s border wall, called for local governments to take an aggressive stance against wall construction.
Cuellar said that while Trump visits the Valley, members of Congress may be called to Washington D.C. to vote on the president's second impeachment.
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