Border Crisis

Trump Praises Abbott, Hints at Second Presidential Run in Hidalgo County Border Visit

In a Hidalgo County border visit with Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday, former President Trump slammed the Biden administration and promoted Abbott’s re-election campaign. The erstwhile president called Abbott a “great partner” and said the governor’s support “went up like a rocket” when Trump endorsed him.

Commending Texas law enforcement for their efforts against illegal immigration, Trump said, “The job [Texas sheriffs] have done is unparalleled.”

“The human traffickers — we had them down to a halt and now they’re going at a level that they’ve never even thought imaginable,” Trump said.

He added, “No lower form of life than people that do that. and they make a lot of money, they make more money than the drug dealers, they say.”

Trump blasted Biden for reversing some of the immigration policies he implemented while in the White House.

“All Biden had to do was go to the beach,” Trump said, contending that the reversal of policies such as the remain in Mexico directive have contributed to the surge on the southern border.

He also reiterated his belief that he won the 2020 presidential election and that it was illegitimately declared in Biden’s favor. Trump’s campaign initiated a flurry of lawsuits in the aftermath of the election, but it was unable to prove Trump’s claim that Biden won the election due to voter fraud.

Trump also commended Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, but stopped short of endorsing him. Paxton has sued the federal government several times over Biden’s immigration policies. Both Paxton and one of his Republican primary opponents, Land Commissioner George P. Bush, are supporters of President Trump and are vying for his endorsement.

The 45th president hinted at a second presidential run when he thanked Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and asked him, “Are you gonna be my campaign manager if I do this again?”

For his part, Abbott hailed Texas’ new border wall project and sounded the alarm on illegal border crossings and the accompanying criminal activity. He contended that it is necessary to “seal this border and close it down.”

“We’re doing this because our fellow Texans and our fellow Americans — they’re being threatened every day,” Abbott said.

Abbott aimed his objections squarely at Biden, urging the White House’s incumbent to continue construction on the border wall, which has been a lightning rod issue for several years.

“[Y]ou see an unfinished border. This is Biden’s fault because President Biden is not continuing what President Trump began,” Abbott gestured toward the gap in the barrier behind him. “President Biden needs to start right there and finish building the border wall that President Trump began[.]”

Repeating a belief that is common among Republicans, Abbott characterized the Biden administration’s actions on immigration as “open border policies.” He contended that while the consequences are “felt most harshly” by Texans, they affect all Americans.

The governor thanked the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) for stepping up to supplement border security efforts during the surge. According to Abbott, DPS has raided 41 stash houses, arrested about 1,800 criminals, and taken approximately 40,000 illegal immigrants into custody in its border security efforts. He also emphasized the danger of fentanyl coming into the country via a porous border.

A slew of Texas lawmakers and members of the U.S. Congress was present to support Trump. Among them was Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX-36), Ronny Jackson (R-TX-13), Louie Gohmert (R-TX-1), Michael Cloud (R-TX-27), August Pfluger (R-TX-11), Jodey Arrington (R-TX-19), Roger Williams (R-TX-25), Pat Fallon (R-TX-4), Chip Roy (R-TX-21), Michael Burgess (R-TX-26), and Pete Sessions (R-TX-17).

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