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Donald Trump Set to Visit Border Before Kamala Harris

Newsweek logo Newsweek 6/16/2021 Ewan Palmer
Donald Trump, Kamala Harris posing for the camera: Donald Trump could visit the U.S.-Mexico with Texas Governor Greg Abbott before the current Vice President. © Zach Gibson - Pool L/ Al Drago/Getty Images Donald Trump could visit the U.S.-Mexico with Texas Governor Greg Abbott before the current Vice President.

Donald Trump has increased pressure on Vice President Kamala Harris as he announced he will visit the U.S.-Mexico border later in June.

Trump, who made building a wall to combat immigration one of his key presidential campaign promises, said he would visit "our nation's decimated southern border" with Texas Governor Greg Abbott on June 30.

"The Biden administration inherited from me the strongest, safest, and most secure border in US history and in mere weeks they turned it into the single worst border crisis in US history," Trump said in a statement.

"We went from having border security that was the envy of the world to a lawless border that is now pitied around the world."

It is unclear where along the border Trump and Abbott are intending to visit.

The decision arrives as Harris, who was personally tasked by President Joe Biden to try and control the surge of migrants crossing the border, has been met with criticism for failing to visit the area.

The Vice President has also been condemned by conservative and GOP figures for her answers when questioned about the criticism against her, including claiming to NBC's Lester Holt: "We've been to the border."

Harris later told Univision anchor Ilia Calderón that she plans on visiting the border without specifying when.

"If we are going to deal with the problems at the border, we have to deal with the problems that cause people to go to the border. To flee to the border. And that is the root cause," Harris said on June 10.

"So, my first trip as vice president of the United States was to go, in terms of a foreign trip, to Guatemala. To be on the ground there to address and be informed of the root causes. Why are the people of Guatemala leaving?"


Video: Kamala Harris Defends Not Going To the Border (Newsweek)

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Biden is also facing criticism for the record levels of migrants attempting to enter the country illegally since his time in office, after walking back some of Trump's more hardline immigration policies in an attempt to provide a more humane approach.

In April, nearly 179,000 people were detained trying to enter the border, the highest levels since April of last year. Abbott sent a letter to Biden in late March demanding answers to the "humanitarian crisis" at the border.

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Biden ceased production of any walls along the border on his first day in office. In a statement on June 11, the White House described Trump's wall, which would cost billions of dollars of taxpayers' money, as "not a serious policy solution or responsible use of Federal funds."

The White House said under the Trump administration, 52 miles of wall where no barrier previously existed was built, with some wall segments costing taxpayers up to $46 million per mile.

"The effort diverted critical resources away from military training facilities and schools, and caused serious risks to life, safety, and the environment," the statement added. "It also took attention away from genuine security challenges, like drug smuggling and human trafficking."

Abbott said he plans to build his own wall along the state's border with Mexico, although it is unclear if he has the resources, funds or authority to do so.

"Texas will finish what President Trump started," Abbott tweeted.

"Later this week, I will unveil our plans to build a border wall. The Lone Star State will do what Biden REFUSES to do—protect our citizens along the southern border."

Abbott has been contacted for comment about Trump's visit.

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