Trump Campaigns at Border on Broader Immigration Plans

Former president's proposals included ending birthright citizenship
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 19, 2023 4:30 PM CST
Promising Changes, Trump Campaigns at Mexican Border
Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump poses for a photo as he helps serve food to Texas National Guard soldiers, troopers and others who will be stationed at the border over Thanksgiving, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, in Edinburg, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Donald Trump returned to the US-Mexico border on Sunday and was endorsed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas as the former president campaigns on a hard-line immigration agenda that would be far more expansive than the policies he pursued during his first term in the White House. "We need a president who's going to secure the border," Abbott, a longtime ally, told about 150 people at an airport hangar in Edinburg, the AP reports. "We need Donald J. Trump back as our president of the United States of America." Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 GOP nomination, took the stage afterward and thanked Abbott, saying that after defeating Democratic President Biden next year, "I'm going to make your job much easier."

"You'll be able to focus on other things in Texas," Trump said, speaking about 30 miles from the Hidalgo Port of Entry crossing with Mexico. Earlier, he served meals to Texas National Guard soldiers, troopers, and others who will be stationed at the border over Thanksgiving. Trump and Abbott handed out tacos, and the former president posed for pictures. Trump has been laying out immigration proposals that would mark a dramatic escalation of the approach he used in office, which drew alarms from civil rights activists and numerous court challenges. "On my first day back in the White House, I will terminate every open-borders policy of the Biden administration. I will stop the invasion on our southern border and begin the largest domestic deportation operation in American history," he said Saturday in Iowa, per the AP.

Among other changes, Trump said he wants to:

  • Revive and expand his travel ban, which initially targeted seven Muslim-majority countries.
  • Begin "ideological screening" for all immigrants, aiming to bar "Christian-hating communists and Marxists" and "dangerous lunatics, haters, bigots and maniacs."
  • Invoke the Alien Enemies Act to remove from the US all known or suspected gang members and drug dealers. That law was used to justify internment camps in World War II.
  • End the constitutional right to birthright citizenship by signing an executive order that would codify a legally untested reinterpretation of the 14th Amendment.

Democrats tried to use Trump's trip to portray his plans as extreme. "Donald Trump is going after immigrants, our rights our safety and our democracy. And that is what really is on the ballot," Biden reelection campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said on a conference call with reporters.

(Read more Donald Trump 2024 stories.)

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