Former President Donald Trump has said he would visit the US-Mexico border later this month with Texas Governor Greg Abbott after both complained about a rise in migrants crossing into the United States.
Trump, Abbott and other Republicans have criticised Democratic President Joe Biden for rolling back Trump immigration restrictions as the number of migrants arriving at the border has reached the highest monthly levels in 20 years.
“The Biden Administration inherited from me the strongest, safest, and most secure border in U.S history and in mere weeks they turned it into the single worst border crisis in U.S history,” Trump said in a statement on Tuesday, announcing he had accepted an invitation from Abbott to visit the border on June 30.
“We went from having border security that was the envy of the world to a lawless border that is now pitied around the world,” he added.
Republicans have been extremely critical of the Biden administration’s handling of the border and slammed Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who has been tasked with dealing with the immigration crisis, for not yet having visited the border since taking office in January.
Trump did not say where along the 2,000km (1,250-mile) border he would be visiting. Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The former president’s trip to the US-Mexico line will be his first since January 12, days before he left office, when he visited a section of the border wall in what was kind of a farewell victory lap.
Trump made the building of a wall along the border a signature part of his presidency, saying it was needed to stop illegal immigration and drug smuggling.
Biden issued an executive order on his first day in office – January 20 – that paused wall construction, saying “a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution”.
Biden’s order was the first in a series of moves to undo many of the Trump administration’s immigration curbs and to put in place what the Biden administration has called more humane policies.
Abbott said last week that his state would build its own border wall, but whether he has the resources and legal authority to do that remains unclear.
Trump’s trip to Texas comes as the former president works his way back into the public arena following his departure from the White House.
Trump is expected to go Cleveland, Ohio on Jun 26 for a rally, and Tampa, Florida on July 3, per advisers.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) June 15, 2021
In addition to his trip to the US-Mexico border on June 30, Trump will reportedly hold a rally near Cleveland, Ohio, on June 26, where he is expected to stump for candidates he has endorsed, including Max Miller, who is running to unseat Republican Representative Anthony Gonzalez.
Gonzalez was one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump and has drawn the ire of the former president as well as Ohio Republicans.
Trump will also reportedly hold a rally in Tampa, Florida, on July 3, which would mark his second post-presidential public appearance in the state that he now calls his home. In February, Trump spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando.