Former US president Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he will visit the US border with Mexico in a move to contrast his tough stance against immigration with successor Joe Biden’s more humane approach.
Trump said in a statement that he would join Texas Governor Greg Abbott to visit “our nation’s decimated southern border” on June 30.
“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,” he said.
“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 is taking advantage of data showing the Biden administration, promising a more humane approach to migrants fleeing poverty and violence in Central America, has struggled to fend off hundreds of thousands attempting to cross the border in recent months.
From March to May more than 530,000 people were apprehended and pushed back into Mexico after attempting to cross without legal immigration papers, according to the Customs and Border Protection.
There is no official estimate on how many did get through, but the sheer number of attempts suggests a rise in successful crossings, CBP officers have said.
And Republicans have sought to damage Biden’s popularity by highlighting what they call a crisis at the border.
Abbott meanwhile announced that he would resume building a Trump-planned wall along the border after Biden stopped the project.
Texas “will do what Biden REFUSES to do — protect our citizens along the southern border,” Abbott tweeted Tuesday.
Trump’s announcement was the latest sign that, since leaving the White House on January 20, Trump intends to keep challenging the Democrat by holding out the possibility of running again in 2024.
With a strong sway over the Republican voter base, Trump has flexed his influence since leaving office, appearing at a major Republican conference in February, and joining a local candidate’s event in North Carolina and a party fundraiser in Florida since then.