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Former President Donald Trump announced Tuesday he will visit the US-Mexico border region with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at the end of this month to draw attention to what he called “grave and willful dereliction of duty” by his successor.
“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 lengthy statement. “It’s an unmitigated disaster zone.”
The announcement comes days after US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released statistics showing that more than 180,000 illegal immigrants were stopped at the border in May, the first time that number had been exceeded in a single month since April 2000.
“We went from detain-and-remove to catch-and-release. We went from having border security that was the envy of the world to a lawless border that is now pitied around the world,” Trump’s statement continued.
“Biden and Harris have handed control of our border over to cartels, criminals, and coyotes. Drug dealers, MS-13 gang members, human smugglers, sex traffickers, and the criminal elements of the world now have free reign [sic]. Hospitals and schools are getting crushed and public health is being sacrificed all in service of a radical left anti-borders agenda.”
Trump went on to call out Biden and Harris for not visiting the border region since taking office in January, echoing criticism from other Republican lawmakers.
“Our brave border agents and courageous ICE officers have been illegally stopped from doing their jobs,” the 45th president claimed. “Our Nation is now one giant sanctuary city where even dangerous criminals are being cut loose and set free inside the US interior on a daily basis … My visit will hopefully shine a spotlight on these crimes against our Nation—and show the incredible people of ICE and Border Patrol that they have our unshakeable support.”
At the beginning of this month, the fellow Republican Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 34 counties along or near the frontier and blasted White House policies, which he said “have paved the way for dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to pour into our communities.”
Last week, Abbott announced a series of measures meant to stop the flow of illegal immigration into the Lone Star State — including his ambition to build a border wall. The governor also announced that anyone crossing the border into Texas illegally would be subject to arrest and jailing.
In an interview released Tuesday, Abbott announced that he was accepting public funds to help pay for the wall’s construction.
“When I do make the announcement later on this week, I will also be providing a link that you can click on and go to,” Abbott told the “Ruthless” podcast. “For everybody in the United States — really everybody in the entire world — who wants to help Texas build the border wall, there will be a place on there where they can contribute.”
Abbott promised that the fund accepting border wall donations would be “overseen by the state of Texas in the governor’s office” and vowed “everyone will know every penny in, every penny out, but the sole purpose for those funds will be going to build the border wall.”
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