Trump Visits US-Mexico Border To Highlight Migrant Surge.

Trump Visits US-Mexico Border To Highlight Migrant Surge

Trump will be joined by Republican members of Congress when visits the small town of Weslaco (File)

Weslaco, United States:

Donald Trump visits the US-Mexico border Wednesday to denounce what he calls a "catastrophe" of an immigration crisis, using an underlying theme of his presidency -- illegal entries -- to rail against his successor Joe Biden.

Trump is on his first major fact-finding tour since leaving the White House, coming as the Biden administration grapples with a migrant surge that Trump blames squarely on an easing of his "tough but fair" policies that were aimed at deterring new arrivals.

The Republican ex-president will be accompanied by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, whom Trump has endorsed for re-election next year, and who has pledged to finish Trump's wall along the southern border, but with private donations and not federal assistance.

Trump will be joined by several Republican members of Congress, including conservatives Lauren Boebert and Jim Banks, when he visits the small town of Weslaco in the Rio Grande Valley, one of the illegal migration hot spots along the 1,930-mile (3100-kilometer) border.

He will receive an 11:30 am (1630 GMT) briefing on border conditions at the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), then visit the border itself, likely at or around the nearby city of McAllen, to observe a portion of the wall.

Weslaco appeared largely unfazed by the former president's pending visit, although a pickup truck bearing Trump flags drove past the DPS.

The detention of migrants at the frontier reached its highest level in 15 years in March, and Biden critics accused the president of downplaying the situation.

Republican lawmakers have slammed Biden for reversing some of Trump's programs including his "remain in Mexico" policy, which had forced thousands of asylum seekers from Central America to stay south of the US border until their claims were processed.

Drug trafficking

They have also warned of the surge in drug trafficking into the United States, particularly of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.

Biden last week dispatched Vice President Kamala Harris, whom he has tasked with overseeing efforts to stem migration, to the border region where she highlighted the administration's commitment to "orderly and humane" immigration policies.

Trump had claimed credit for the Harris visit, saying his own earlier border trip announcement prompted a scramble to get Harris there before him.

Harris visited El Paso, a border city that Republicans argue is hundreds of miles from the epicenter of the migration crisis.

Trump, who may yet seek re-election in 2024 but has not announced his plans, has repeatedly knocked Biden for the border crisis.

"There has never been, in our country's history, a border catastrophe like what is currently taking place at our southern border," Trump said last week, adding that all Biden had to do "is leave it the way it was" with Trump's tougher policies in place.

Other Republicans including congresswoman Mary Miller, who is from Illinois and is visiting the border with Trump, have described the migrant surge as an "invasion" that must be stopped.

The Democratic Party has pushed back, saying Republicans were bringing their "clown show" to the border to mislead voters.

"Donald Trump and Republicans waged war on our immigration system, threw it into chaos, and left a 1.3 million-case backlog for President Biden and the administration to clean up," Democratic National Committee rapid response director Ammar Moussa said in a statement.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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