Donald Trump’s last meeting with Democratic congressional leaders ended with him storming out of the room and declaring the talks “a total waste of time.”
The Democratic Senate Leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, said that the president threw a “temper tantrum.”
And now, after all that, Trump is going today to the U.S.-Mexico border to personally “inspect” the situation which he has incorrectly called a crisis.
The truth is that Trump’s junket is designed to be nothing more than a meaningless photo opportunity. His advisers believe such a trip is necessary to try to project the image that Trump is actually doing his job as president.
The president will visit McCallen, Texas, and is scheduled to stop at a border patrol station and the border area along the Rio Grande River. Also on his schedule is a border security briefing.
The Rio Grande Valley area is where in recent years agents have apprehended by far the most people trying to illegally cross into the country. In 2017, it accounted for 44 percent of border apprehensions. The figures come from official U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.
Human Rights groups and many others who live along the border in Texas are opposed to Trump’s demand for more than $5 billion in funding for a border wall. They also reject the president’s immigration policies. Some of these groups have planned a demonstration for today at McCallen’s airport.
“Fed up with the manufactured crisis? Outraged by the continued attacks on immigrants and border communities? Join us tomorrow in the Rio Grande Valley to greet Trump with a peaceful protest! “
Fed up with the manufactured crisis? Outraged by the continued attacks on immigrants and border communities? Join us tomorrow in the Rio Grande Valley to greet Trump with a peaceful protest! ✊🏽https://t.co/bhPM6nk0M3
— Texas Civil Rights Project (@TXCivilRights) January 9, 2019
The Democrat who represents McCallen in Congress, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, has said he welcomes the president visiting his district. But has also given his opinion that what the United States really needs is more intelligent spending of allocated dollars in order to bring real security to the Rio Grande Valley.
“You’ll see one of the safest communities in the state and in the country. You will see that we don’t need a wall,” Gonzalez said in a video message Wednesday. “What we need to do is figure how we’re going to fill the 7,500 vacancies in our Customs and Border Patrol. We need to use technology to secure the border.”
Today, I delivered the following message ahead of @realDonaldTrump’s expected visit to the U.S.-Mexico Border. On Thursday, President Trump is expected to visit McAllen, Texas, a city experiencing its lowest crime rates in 30 years. Watch here: https://t.co/odIn4kHsMk
— Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (@RepGonzalez) January 9, 2019
Texas Republican Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn are traveling with Trump as he visits their state on Thursday, and both have said that they believe the border wall is necessary.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.