What Happened During Donald Trump's Visit to U.S.-Mexico Border

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Former President Donald Trump visited the U.S.-Mexico border Wednesday to boast his immigration policies and blast the Biden administration's approach to border security and migration.

Trump met with Texas Governor Greg Abbott at the Texas Department of Public Safety in Weslaco, Texas for a border security briefing with law enforcement officials and local sheriffs.

Abbott said that Vice President Kamala Harris' focus on solving the "root causes" of migration that force migrants to flee their home country for the U.S. is "misleading Americans."

"One place to solve problems on the border is on the border," he said.

Abbott also discussed the state's effort to bolster border security, including building a "border barrier."

Building the border barrier has begun.

The 1st step is to get easements on land.

The 2nd step is to clear the land for the building process.

That is what is happening here.

The Texas Facilities Commission is working to hire a program manager to oversee the entire process. pic.twitter.com/n9JUN0CymL

— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 28, 2021

Law enforcement officials also discussed the increase in apprehensions of criminals and drugs at the border.

Tarrant County Sheriff Bill E. Waybourn said fentanyl is "flooding" the area and said "the Mexican drug cartel number one enemy of public safety."

Trump said his administration did "a hell of a job" on border security and said his border wall made the border the safest in our country's history.

"We had a closed border, the best ever," and now Trump says drugs and human traffickers are coming in.

Biden reversed several of Trump's immigration policies in his first days in office, including stopping border wall construction and ending a program that forces migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. to wait in Mexico.

Ending those policies coincided with a significant increase in apprehensions at the border, including a record-setting number of unaccompanied minors entering into the U.S. during the first part of the year. In June, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported 180,034 apprehensions at the border.

"Our nation is being destroyed by Biden's border crisis," Trump wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Times. "The United States must immediately restore the entire set of border security and immigration enforcement measures we put into place — and critically, we must finish the wall."

At the border wall in Pharr, Texas, Trump also continued to mention the 2020 presidential election and his false claims of election fraud.

"Biden is destroying our country and it all started with the fake election," Trump said.

"If you don't have strong elections and a strong border you don't have a country," he added at the end of the border security briefing.

Trump Abbott Border
Former President Donald Trump greets law enforcement while arriving at a border security briefing on June 30, 2021 in Weslaco, Texas. Trump joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at the border Wednesday to discuss border security and Biden's policies. "The wall really worked," Trump said. "We built a wall that was not penetrable. We had it down to a science. People weren't coming in unless it was legally." Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The live updates for this event has ended

Trump: "Biden is destroying our country and it all started with the fake election"

At the border wall in Pharr, Texas, Trump thanked the members of Congress present.

JUST NOW: Trump arrives at the border wall in Pharr, Texas #borderwall pic.twitter.com/vCLRkXhTKw

— John C. Moritz (@JohnnieMo) June 30, 2021

Trump also continued to push the "big lie" about the 2020 presidential election fruad, claiming he won in many states even if "they don't show that way."

"We produced the safest, best border we've ever had and now in a short time it's over," Trump said.

"Biden is destroying our country and it all started with the fake election," Trump said, criticizing the New York City mayoral election.

"The big one [the 2020 presidential election] was won by a different person," he said, and in two months the border wall would have been "perfecto."

"We had a closed border, the best ever," and now Trump says drugs and human traffickers are coming in.

"We had human traffickers down to a halt" and now they are "going at a level they've never seen," he continued.

Trump also repeated comments from the earlier border security briefing about criminals and gang members coming across the border and about all of his immigration policies that President Biden ended.

At the end of his remarks, Trump teased a possible thrid run for president.

Trump just entertained a third run. As he wrapped up, a reporter just asked if Trump would apologize about Jan. 6. Crowd responded with booing.

— Valerie Gonzalez (@ValOnTheBorder) June 30, 2021

Trump and Abbott arrive at the border wall

Former President Trump and Texas Governor Greg Abbott have arrived at the border wall.

Abbott expressed his gratitude for members of Texas public safety and the Texas national guard doing their part to secure our border and the Texas legislature for passing measures to secure the border.

He mentioned a 500 percent increase in criminal migrants apprehended coming over the border, as well as the rise in drugs raids.

"Biden is doing nothing to slow the spread of deadly fentanyl across the country," he said, noting a 2000 percent increase in fentanyl apprehensions this year.

Abbott said Texans' "lives, property and families are being overrun by people coming over the border."

"Biden doesn't care about it so Texas has to step up and protect fellow Texas and we will continue to do so," he said.

Reporters await Trump and Abbott's visit to the border

Reporters have gathered at the border and await the arrival of former president Donald Trump and Gov. Greg Abbott from their border security briefing with Texas safety officials.

Multiple members of Congress have now piled into the event here and they have started playing music.

For now, we are still waiting for Trump and the @GovAbbott to arrive. pic.twitter.com/XiKxPVOHlO

— Hunter Davis (@HunterDavisNews) June 30, 2021

CNN's Jim Acosta said on Twitter that Abbott and his staff blocked press access at the border security briefing.

"They've decided to turn their roundtable discussion into a 'pool' coverage event," he said. "However, in addition to pool, Abbott's team is selectively allowing certain non-pool outlets into the event."

TX Gov. Abbott and his staff are blocking press access to his event today with Trump. They’ve decided to turn their roundtable discussion into a “pool” coverage event. However, in addition to pool, Abbott’s team is selectively allowing certain non-pool outlets into the event. pic.twitter.com/9MNOvfLU1Z

— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 30, 2021

In an op-ed in The Washington Times, Trump called President Joe Biden's border and immigration policies "utterly depraved."

"Our nation is being destroyed by Biden's border crisis," he wrote. "The United States must immediately restore the entire set of border security and immigration enforcement measures we put into place — and critically, we must finish the wall."

Trump discusses 2020 election and acing his cognitive test at border security briefing

In his remarks at the border security briefing, Trump discussed the 2020 presidential election.

The former president told reporters he did "really well" in the election, "much better than expected."

"I want to thank the people of Texas because we won in a landslide, it wasn't even close," Trump said. "We did well in Texas," he said, because "I'm in favor of oil, God and guns."

Trump then called U.S. elections a "disaster" after saying "he did much better" in the 2020 election than he did in 2016.

"We better get out elections straightened out or else we are going to have a runaway country, a banana republic, a third-world country pretty soon because our elections are a mess," Trump added.

Trump also bragged that he "aced" his cognitive test.

"I'd like to see Biden ace it," he said. "He won't ace it."

Returning to the topic of border security, Trump discussed MS-13 gang members and "bad" people "coming in from the Middle East."

Trump blamed Biden's reversal of his immigration policies and Democrats' calls for an open border.

"Now we have an open border," Trump said. "It's more dangerous than it's ever been in our country."

Before leaving to visit "the real part of the border" and "admire" the border wall, Trump left the briefing saying "if you don't have strong elections and a strong border you don't have a country."

Trump said he "did a hell of a job" on border security

Trump is giving remarks on border security at a briefing with Gov. Abbott and public safety officials.

"We went from the best border we ever had in our country," Trump said. He claimed it was not just the best in two decades, as is widely reported, but "the best ever."

Trump said Democrats are spreading a "disinformation campaign" blaming Republican governors and sheriffs for the issues on the border.

He claimed that fentanyl was almost a "nonfactor" when he was in office but now "it's pouring into our country." Trump also added that "human trafficking was almost stopped."

Trump said his administration did "a hell of a job" on border security.

He discussed the steel and concrete material of the border wall.

"The wall really worked," he said. "We built a wall that was not penetrable. We had it down to a science. People weren't coming in unless it was legally."

Texas DPH discuss drugs and gangs along border

Texas Department of Public Safety Steve McCraw is discussing the drug smuggling and gang members crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

DPS Director Steve McCraw now presenting about the challenge in addressing human and drug smuggling across the state. pic.twitter.com/UnwT9npjkH

— Valerie Gonzalez (@ValOnTheBorder) June 30, 2021

"Building a wall or a fence to prevent cartels from coming off the river into the United States is a value added to law enforcement and must be part of a [border security] strategy," McCraw said.

Tarrant County Sheriff Bill E. Waybourn said fentanyl is "flooding" the area.

He noted a 50 percent increase in deadly overdoses this year, specifically hitting 16 to 24 year-olds.

"The Mexican drug cartel is responsible for spreading [deadly drugs into Texas]," he said. "They should be on every public safety department and sheriff's offices' radar."

Trump then interjected, asking if the fentanyl is coming in from China.

"No, sir. It's coming from the cartel," Waybourn said. He added that the cartel is getting the drug from China but "it is an easier port through the United States" from the Mexican border.

"The Mexican drug cartel number one enemy of public safety," he said.

President Trump asked about the cartels bringing in fentanyl - is it coming from China? pic.twitter.com/cJkvUapgiq

— Teresa 2.0 (@Thorsome4) June 30, 2021

Abbott says Trump secured the border "like no other president"

Former President Donald Trump joined Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas law enforcement officials at a border security briefing.

Abbott said Trump secured the border, "like no other president" and "kept Americans safe."

He called President Joe Biden's border policies, "amazing and disastrous," pointing to an "800 percent increase" in encounters at the border last May compared to May 2020.

Abbott added that Vice President Kamala Harris is "misleading Americans" that by solving problems in triangle countries in Central America.

"People are coming in from other countries," Abbott said. "One place to solve problems on the border is on the border. That is where [the Biden administration] needs to devout resources."

He also discussed Texas' recent efforts to protect the border and noted a "2000 percent increase" in fentanyl apprehensions by Texas Public Safety Department.

"People in Texas are pleading for us to help restore safety and security in their lives," Abbott said.

"This is the job of the federal government," he added. Abbott said Trump did that, but the Biden administration is failing.

Former DPH acting secretary Chad Wolf among border security briefing attendees

Authorities have released the list of officials invited to participate in the border security briefing at the Texas Department of Public Safety headquarters in Weslaco.

Among those in attendance are newly elected McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos, DPS Director Steven McCraw, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, former Department of Homeland Security acting secretary Chad Wolf and former Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan.

Among the guests today, Mark Morgan, former CBP Commissioner, and Chad Wolf, former acting DHS secretary. pic.twitter.com/mdnPTH5tyN

— Valerie Gonzalez (@ValOnTheBorder) June 30, 2021

Other attendees include Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez, Paul Perez, president of the National Border Patrol Council RGV 3307, National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd and Susan Kibbe, director of the South Texans Property Rights Association, MyRGV News reports.

Non-border county sheriffs and Texas representatives are also set to join the briefing.

Texas Congressmen speak out against Abbott and Trump's border visit

Two Texas Congressmen released a joint statement ahead of Trump's border visit with Governor Abbott.

"Inviting the former President, who incited the January 6th insurrection in an effort to overthrow the government and prevent the peaceful transition of power, is nothing short of a slap in the face to South Texans," Congressmen Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) said.

"Wasting taxpayer dollars to promote the construction of a border wall instead of correcting the failed electrical grid is bad leadership that is further putting Texans' lives at risk," he added.

Gonzalez urged Abbott to enact "meaningful policy solutions" for border security instead of trying to "divide people by misrepresenting the border community on the national stage."

He suggests making "surgical investments" to provide jobs, security and prosperity to encourage migrants from the three Central American countries to stay home.

Inviting the former President who incited the Jan. 6 insurrection in an effort to overthrow the government & prevent the peaceful transition of power is a slap in the face to South Texans. (1/2)

Full release w/ @RepFilemonVela on the border visit here: https://t.co/Spyz1nr5tx

— Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (@RepGonzalez) June 30, 2021

Congressman Filemon Vela (TX-34) said Abbott and Trump are "once again trying to draw attention away from their failed leadership."

Instead of prioritizing helping Texas recover amid the COVID-19 pandemic, massive power outages and unemployment, Vela accused Abbott of "creating a distracting media circus with a failed former president."

He called the narrative of a "violent and insecure border region" false and said the "border is not a war zone."

Vela also criticized the border wall, calling it a "waste of [Texans'] hard-earned money" and an "un-American symbol of hatred that separates and intimidates our communities, harms our wildlife, and encroaches on landowner rights."

"Americans spoke loud and clear last November when they overwhelmingly voted to oust Donald Trump and his 'BUILD THE WALL' mantra," he said. "Abbott needs to get the message, drop the antics, and get to work on the issues that matter to Texans."

Advocacy groups hold town hall to protest Trump's visit

Ahead of Trump's visit to the border in Texas, community organizers are holding a rally to protest Trump and Governor Abbott's trip and border policies.

La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) is an advocacy group based in the Rio Grande Valley committed to supporting immigrants and "to building stronger, healthier communities where people have the power to effect social change through community organizing and civic engagement."

The #RGV community has unanimously rejected @GovAbbott’s dangerous declarations about the border. Today, we have 2 full-page ads in The Monitor to send them a clear message:

Welcoming people seeking safety is not a “crisis.” These political games do not represent us. ¡Ya basta! pic.twitter.com/55EwuM3bG1

— La Unión del Pueblo Entero (@LUPE_rgv) June 30, 2021

LUPE is currently holding a town hall to combat the "political games" they say Trump and Abbott are playing.

"Texas Governor Abbott is teaming up with former President Trump to continue his legacy of violence against immigrants and border communities," the organization said in the event listing.

"While they try to play political games with our lives, we will be hosting a Border Community Town Hall to show how we will continue to protect our region and keep welcoming people with dignity," LUPE said.

“This is a border of peace. Not militarization,” says Ramona Casas if ARISE. Casas says most people coming here are looking for basic necessities like clean water, food, and opportunity. pic.twitter.com/cVo1Cy3YuR

— Tanvi Varma (@tanvivarma21) June 30, 2021

Leaders from other advocacy groups took to the podium to speak out against Trump and Abbott's policies. They also spoke about immigration issues like the impact of the border wall, the effects of the family separation policy, the conditions for asylum seekers and the need for basic necessities like clean water and food for migrants coming to the border.

Ramona Casas from ARISE said "this is a border of peace, not militarization," KRGV reporter Tanvi Varma reported.