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Trump pumps fist at migrants during visit to southern border

By Mandy Donalds
March 1, 2024

During a visit with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this week, former President Donald Trump waved to migrants through a barbed wire fence at the US-Mexico border while criticizing President Joe Biden's handling of the ongoing crisis there.

Trump, who has consistently criticized his successor over his border policies, made these remarks at the fence in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Thursday.

He accused Biden of having the "blood of countless innocent victims" on his hands and remarked, "He's transported columns of fighting men. They look like warriors to me," as the Daily Mail reported.

The Scene at Eagle Pass

The backdrop of Trump and Abbott's visit was stark, featuring military vehicles, dozens of shipping containers acting as barriers, and razor wire atop these containers to prevent illegal crossings.

This setup provided a visual representation of the ongoing struggle to secure the border, a struggle that Trump emphasized during his discussions with border agents.

He conveyed a sense of urgency and warfare, telling the agents, "You're in a war. This is a military operation."

Criticism and Concerns Voiced

In his vehement criticism of the Biden administration, Trump highlighted the tragic case of Laken Riley, a 22-year-old student jogger murdered in Georgia, allegedly by an illegal immigrant.

Trump emphasized the irreversible impact on Riley's parents, stating, "her mother and father will never be the same," to underscore the human cost of flawed immigration policies.

During his visit, Trump also encountered a sobering reminder of the perilous journey migrants undertake, with the recovery of a drowned migrant's body near the visitation site, reinforcing his message about the border's dangers.

Gov. Abbott supported Trump's assertions, accusing Biden of "lying to America" about the state of the border and of "aiding and abetting illegal entry."

Abbott's initiatives, such as the militarization of Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, are presented as effective deterrents that have significantly reduced illegal crossings, a testament to the state's proactive stance against what they view as federal negligence.

Contrasting Presidential Visits

The timing and locations of Trump's and Biden's border visits were contrasted to highlight differing priorities.

While Trump chose Eagle Pass, a hotspot for illegal crossings, Biden's visit to Brownsville, Texas, was criticized as a less impactful "photo op."

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, expressed frustration with the current administration, emphasizing the dissatisfaction among agents with Biden's choice of location for his visit and suggesting a preference for the more stringent policies promised by Trump.

Public and Political Reactions

The public's growing concern over immigration, as reflected in recent polls, suggests a shift in the national conversation, with many Americans now supporting stricter border control measures.

Trump's promise of "the largest domestic deportation operation in American history" if re-elected resonates with a constituency that views immigration as a critical issue facing the country.

This stance, coupled with Abbott's measures in Texas, illustrates a significant divide in how immigration should be managed and the role of federal versus state authority in securing the border.