Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump planned visit to the Texas-Mexico border Thursday is drawing criticism from GOP challenger, and former governor of Texas, Rick Perry.
Trump's visit to the U.S.-Mexico border promises new challenges for the GOP's years-in-the-making push to attract Hispanic voters.
He's gone beyond the party's hardline stance on illegal immigration, calling immigrants who cross the border illegally "criminals" and "rapists" and accusing Mexico's government of deliberately sending felons into the U.S.
His trip Thursday comes amid an escalating feud with Republican rivals and criticism from members of both parties, guaranteeing the billionaire developer plenty of attention from voters and reporters.
The reality television star is set to make multiple public appearances in Laredo, including at an afternoon news conference on the border. He also plans to meet members of the union that represents U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents and speak to other law enforcement officers.
Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate and former Texas governor Rick Perry had plenty to say about Trump's border visit, in short saying it'll take more than talk and a day trip to fix security along the Texas-Mexico border.
"Unlike Donald Trump, I have been battling the federal government over border security for years. Border security is a federal responsibility, but when it became clear Washington wouldn’t act, I told President Obama if he wouldn’t secure the border, Texas would. During my time in office, Texas dedicated nearly $1 billion to border security, and we focused our resources on the areas that needed it most – like the Rio Grande Sector, which accounts for more than 50 percent of illegal crossings on the entire U.S.-Mexico border, and more than 70 percent of illegal border crossings in Texas alone.
After weeks of talk, today Donald Trump will finally make his first trip to the Texas-Mexico border to see Texas’ work to fill in the gaps left in border security by the federal government. While he is there, I hope he will explain to the people of Laredo why he thinks they should be on the hook to secure our country’s border with Mexico, rather than the federal government. I hope he will explain to the Hispanic Americans he meets why he thinks they are rapists and murderers. And I hope he will apologize for ridiculing the selfless work of the men and women of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers, Texas Game Wardens and Texas National Guard to protect our communities in the face of the federal government’s failure to secure the border.
As a known employer of illegal immigrant labor, Donald Trump’s record on border security is non-existent at best and a farce at worst. It’s going to take more than a day trip for him to convince the American people he is anything but a hypocrite when it comes to border security.”