Trump receives support from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on border as both Republicans outline tough immigration agenda

Edinburg, Texas – Former President Donald Trump on Sunday received the endorsement of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for his 2024 presidential bid at a campaign event near the US-Mexico border, a region that has played a central role in both Republicans’ political careers.

Abbott, another fierce critic of President Biden’s immigration policies, gave Trump a effusive endorsement in Edinburg, a small town in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, one of the busiest sectors for illegal border crossings and an area where Republicans have made inroads with its predominantly Hispanic community in recent years.

After serving meals to Texas National Guard members and troops involved in the state’s border security initiative, known as Operation Lone Star, Trump and Abbott embraced on a stage set up in front of Texas law enforcement helicopters, an airplane and an armored vehicle .

“We need a president who will secure the border,” Abbott said.

In recent weeks, Trump has escalated his tough rhetoric on immigration and the extent of his promises on the issue, which some of his advisers believe partly propelled him to victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016. In a recent interview, he claimed that migrants were “poisoning the blood of our country.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, left, listens as Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump, right, addresses Texas state troopers and state troopers during a Thanksgiving meal at South Texas International Airport, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, in Edinburg , Texas.

Eric Gay / AP

During his presidency, Trump staged a crackdown on illegal and legal immigration, taking unprecedented steps to cut immigration, limit access to the asylum system, build hundreds of miles of border wall and end temporary deportation protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, including those who arrived to the United States as children.

But Trump has vowed to take his tough immigration agenda forward if elected in 2024, pledging to carry out the largest deportation operation in US history, expand his travel bans, deny birthright citizenship to US-born children of unauthorized immigrants and turn away legal immigrants with political beliefs, he is disagree with. Trump has also refused to rule out reviving his notorious migrant family separation policy, which he suspended in 2018 after widespread public outcry.

Abbott, who has yet to endorse a presidential candidate, has also made immigration a top issue during his governorship, making Texas the biggest opponent of Mr. Biden’s migration and border measures.

Since Mr. Biden took office, Abbott has ordered state officials to fortify the banks of the Rio Grande with razor wire and river barriers, directed Texas troopers to arrest adult migrants on trespassing charges and authorized the state to transport tens of thousands of migrants to Democratic-led cities, mainly New York City and Chicago.

Abbott is also expected to sign soon what would be the harshest state immigration law in modern American history. The measure, known as SB4, would give state law enforcement officials the authority to arrest migrants on new criminal charges of illegal entry and allow state judges to issue deportation orders to suspected violators.

After the bill passed in Texas earlier this month, the bill was condemned as draconian and unconstitutional by the Mexican government, Democratic lawmakers and the American Civil Liberties Union, which has vowed to challenge the measure. SB4 will also almost certainly trigger another legal clash with the Biden administration, since immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility.

In recent days, Mr. Biden’s re-election campaign has seized on Mr. Trump’s 2024 immigration promises and made them radical and cruel in public. message campaign it hopes will sway Latinos to vote against the former president.

“Trump has been unapologetically open about the extreme, inhumane and fundamentally un-American policies that he would enact if he returned to the Oval Office,” said Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, on a press call on Saturday. ahead of Trump’s visit to the Texas border.

Biden faces his own policy challenges on immigration, one of his worst polling issues. His administration has been under growing pressure from Republicans and many Democrats to restrict the entry of migrants along the southern border, where migrant apprehensions have reached record levels over the past three years.

In a recent statement, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said the former president is winning more support among Latinos and other minority voters because “they know he’s the only one who can secure the border,” blaming Mr. Biden for the record surge in migrants. crossings.

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