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As Kamala Harris faces calls to visit border, Donald Trump turns up the pressure with Texas trip

·2-min read
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (right) speaks with then-US President Donald Trump (left) during a briefing on hurricane relief efforts in Dallas, Texas, on 25 October, 2017. Mr Abbott has said he plans to raise funds to build more border wall between the US and Mexico. (AFP via Getty Images)
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (right) speaks with then-US President Donald Trump (left) during a briefing on hurricane relief efforts in Dallas, Texas, on 25 October, 2017. Mr Abbott has said he plans to raise funds to build more border wall between the US and Mexico. (AFP via Getty Images)

As US Vice President Kamala Harris faces calls to visit the US-Mexico border, former President Donald Trump has turned up the pressure by announcing plans to visit the border in Texas later this month.

In a statement this week, Mr Trump said he planned to visit “our nation’s decimated southern border” on 30 June with Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

“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, referring to a rise in arrivals at the southern border.

The announcement comes after Mr Abbott vowed to raise funds from donors around the world to put up fresh border barriers between Texas and Mexico in a continuation of Mr Trump’s border wall ambitions.

During his time in power, Mr Trump saw hundreds of miles of border wall erected between the US and Mexico as part of a nationwide hardline immigration crackdown.

His successor, President Joe Biden, froze funding for construction of the border wall on his first day office, with the White House calling on lawmakers to block future funding to the border wall development and redirect the money to other border security initiatives.

In a podcast interview released on Tuesday, Mr Abbott said he would take contributions from anybody and “everybody in the entire world” to see more border wall constructed along the US-Mexico border in Texas.

He said he would be revealing more details on the plans “later on this week”.

Recently, former Vice President Mike Pence joined a growing chorus of voices calling on Ms Harris to visit the US-Mexico border as part of her mandate to oversee the response to the rise in arrivals at the southern border.

“It’s time, Vice President Harris,” Mr Pence said in a tweet on Friday. “It’s Time to Deal With the #BidenBorderCrisis!”

Asked in an interview with NBC that aired last week whether she would be visiting the border any time soon, Ms Harris threw up her arms and said a trip would happen “at some point”.

“You know...we are going to the border. We have been to the border,” she said.

Pressed on the fact that she had yet to make a visit to the border in her role, she responded: “And I haven’t been to Europe. I don’t understand the point you’re making.”

It is still unclear when Ms Harris will make the trip or whether Mr Trump will reach the border before she does.

Instead, Ms Harris currently appears to be more focused on addressing the root causes of migration, with the vice president traveling to Guatemala and Mexico on a trip to discuss the effort to address irregular migration to the US border.

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