Politics - News Analysis

Trump Is Visiting Border for a Photo Op and Texas Residents Don’t Want ‘Traitor’ Trump to Come

I’ve lived in Texas and this was definitely worthwhile. There are so many beautiful places here — Big Bend National Park, the Sam Houston National Park, small towns like Miller Grove, Texas, and the lovely Texas Hill Country. While nature in Texas is amazing, a goodly number of its human inhabitants are not. If you’re not sure about that all you have to do is take a look at the state’s immigrant-hating Republican Governor, Greg Abbott, and Senator Ted Cruz, who is a walking embarrassment.

But some folks here are capable of rational thought, and residents in one small town near the U.S.-Mexico border have some words for former President Donald Trump: “Eagle Pass has nothing to gain,” from his visit on Thursday. Oh, and they also call him a “traitor.” So I’m glad there are people here who obviously aren’t knee-jerk Republicans. Who are capable of thinking for themselves.

Trump is set to visit this part of the border on the same day that President Joe Biden is scheduled to stop in Brownsville to meet with U.S. Border Patrol to meet with U.S. Border Patrol agents, law enforcement, and local officials, Newsweek reports.

Eagle Pass has been used as a sort of symbol for Abbott and other conservative governors across the country to show record-high numbers of migrants crossing the border. Even though the number actually dropped sharply in January, when 68,260 illegal immigrants crossed as compared to December when 149,806 illegal migrants made the crossing, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics. Abbott is patting himself on the back for this since razor wire, floating barriers across the Rio Grande, and legions of soldiers are being employed to combat illegal flows.

National Guard stands behind Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Feb. 4, 2024 in Eagle Pass. Photo – RAQUEL NATALICCHIO/HOUSTON CHRONICLE/GETTY IMAGES

During a visit to Eagle Pass in mid-February, Abbott announced plans for an 80-acre construction that was already developing an expansive military base camp where 1,800 Texas National Guard soldiers would be stationed across the Rio Grande and six miles south to Shelby Park. Abbott said this would allow soldiers to “operate more effectively and more efficiently” in dealing with illegal immigrants.

I have memories of sitting quietly along the Rio Grande, spending time with the wild burros, and watching a mother and father with their little boy across the river. I don’t remember what was strung across the border to divide the U.S.-Mexico border but we exchanged smiles with the family as they picnicked and brought out their fishing poles.

So the fact that Abbott is doing this makes me sad. We have offered water to people crossing the border and I have watched the Border Patrol handcuffing women with their children in tow and it is a dispiriting sight. I understand that there are real problems with people streaming across the border, but some of this just seems dehumanizing.

The folks in Eagle Pass understand this. I know they do. Because they had a message for Trump in a Facebook post.

“[The visit] has nothing to offer Eagle Pass, and Eagle Pass has nothing to gain from it,” the Eagle Pass Border Coalition said in a Facebook post on Monday evening. “Not welcome here and you know it. Not a leader but a loser. Not a president, but a contender. Not a rebel but a threat. Not a friend but an enemy. Not a patriot but a traitor.”

“Eagle Pass deserves better. Maverick County deserves better. Texas deserves better. America deserves better. We deserve better.”

Local residents and members of the coalition describe Trump’s upcoming visit as “a brazen attempt to distract attention from his upcoming criminal and civil trials,” and cite his legal morass and turning immigration into a key issue as a way to attract supporters in the lead-up to November’s election.

In other words, these people aren’t Trump supporters.

They also took a verbal swipe at Abbott, noting he recently stayed “for less than an hour” before taking off in a helicopter after he gave a podium speech.

Earlier this month as tensions between Abbott and the Biden administration escalated, resulting in legal battles that made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the coalition sharply criticized the governor in a letter—describing his attempts to turn Eagle Pass into a “military-style staging ground…as a backdrop for political theater.”

And the coalition can’t help but wonder if Trump will just mirror what Abbott’s doing and just make a pulpit speech and blow out of there without “listening to the voices and concerns of our people,” or perhaps even dismiss them altogether.

Migrants seeking asylum walk through an island while attempting to cross the Rio Grande into the United States on July 18, 2023, in Eagle Pass, Texas. Photo – Brandon Bell/Getty

I think folks in the coalition are already aware that Trump is only there for Trump. He’s already shown that he’s a huge racist and he’s almost certainly going to try to reel them in with a line of b.s. It’s how he rolls.

But still, in their Facebook post, the group asked him:

“Will you take time to visit our missions and talk to our church leaders? Will you show any respect or interest for the rich history and culture of Eagle Pass, a city that prides itself on its diversity and harmony? Will you recognize the challenges and opportunities facing our border community, such as trade, security, environment and immigration? Or will he just throw out his usual lies, insults and conspiracy theories, fanning the flames of hate and division?” the Facebook post said.

I think the coalition already knows the answer to this.

meet the author

Megan has lived in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida and she currently lives in Central America. Living in these places has informed her writing on politics, science, and history. She is currently owned by 15 cats and 3 dogs and regularly owns Trump supporters when she has the opportunity. She can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/GaiaLibra and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/politicalsaurus


Comments are currently closed.