Donald Trump heads to Texas-Mexico border to double down on immigration

Edinburg, Texas – Donald Trump is taking his presidential campaign down to the border of Mexico on Sunday, as he seeks to double down on the hardline immigration policies that were a hallmark of his first White House term.

Former President Donald Trump spoke to supporters in Iowa on Saturday.
Former President Donald Trump spoke to supporters in Iowa on Saturday.  © JIM VONDRUSKA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

In recent weeks, the former president has ramped up his campaign rhetoric to extreme levels, warning that undocumented migrants are "poisoning the blood of our country" and denouncing his political opponents as "vermin."

Trump plans to visit the Texas-Mexico border Sunday with Governor Greg Abbott, a like-minded advocate of tough immigration measures. Two Republican leaders will meet in support of border security initiatives and will serve meals in Edinburg to Texas National Guard soldiers, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, and border officials ahead the Thanksgiving holiday. The two will also make remarks to the press, where Abbott is expected to endorse Trump for president.

The Texas legislature recently passed a bill that would make entry into the state without papers a crime punishable by up to two years in jail – or up to 20 years if the person refuses to leave the United States.

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The bill would allow Texas officers to arrest anyone they believed was in the state without proper documentation, a power that critics say is sure to be abused.

Abbott has vowed to sign the measure into law.

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US President Joe Biden (r.) and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador met at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Week in San Francisco on Friday.
US President Joe Biden (r.) and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador met at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Week in San Francisco on Friday.  © Brendan Smialowski / AFP

The Trump campaign has made clear that if the real estate tycoon is re-elected, he will engineer a tough crackdown of his own on the undocumented, reportedly including huge detention camps and mass deportations.

Texas has been a reliably conservative bastion for Trump as he looks forward to the 2024 elections, and he holds huge leads both there and nationwide over his Republican rivals.

Trump and Abbott blame President Joe Biden for the current migrant crisis, as thousands of people flow into the country from Latin American countries beset by crime, poverty, and violence.

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How Biden handles the crisis could play a major role in the 2024 election. The president met Friday with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco, and thanked the Mexican leader for his "cooperation" over the migrant crisis.

López Obrador, in turn, thanked Biden for being the first recent president "who has not built walls." But the Mexican leader blasted the Texas border bill, saying it would lead to family separation, discrimination and racial profiling.

Human rights groups and fellow politicians have also sharply assailed the bill.

If enacted, the measure would be among the "most radical anti-immigrant bills ever passed by any state," said Oni Blair, who heads the American Civil Liberties Union's Texas chapter.

Cover photo: JIM VONDRUSKA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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