National Security

Trump to Visit Border, Media Will Learn More About the Ongoing ‘Crisis’ There

Press secretary shared details about president's scheduled trip as he issued tariff warnings to Mexico

Image Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images / T.J. Kirkpatrick-Pool/Getty Images

Many Democrats may not view what’s occurring at the southern border as a crisis, as President Donald Trump and his administration absolutely do and have stressed repeatedly — but they won’t be able to deny the facts after the commander-in-chief makes a visit to the border in California on Friday, as currently scheduled.

Speaking Thursday morning on Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said about Trump’s upcoming visit, “The president wants to show the progress that we’ve made on the border wall. There’s a section there that has been finished and he wants to be able to see that.”

“But also he wants to show a lot of people first-hand exactly what is taking place at border,” she added.

“He’s going to get a briefing when he first arrives there, from a number of law enforcement officials, the CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] folks, the people that are on the front lines there on the ground — get a real-time update from those individuals.”

Related: Illegal Immigration at Border ‘Is a Category 5 Crisis’

She said that Trump “also wants America to be able to see that and his presence, and the folks in media that will be traveling with him will get a chance to see some of the things that are going on, on the ground, and hear from the people dealing with this crisis day in and day out.”

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Trump will visit Calexico, a town some 120 miles east of San Diego. There, he will see a new 30-foot tall section of the border wall. While in the area, he’ll also take part in a fundraiser in Los Angeles for the state’s GOP, CNBC reported.

Trump on Thursday also backed off on an earlier threat to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border, instead issuing Mexico a “one-year warning” and threatening to first impose auto tariffs before closing the border, as Politico and others noted.

“The only thing, frankly, better, but less drastic than closing the border, is to tariff the cars coming in,” Trump said Thursday to reporters at the White House. “We’re going to give them a one-year warning and if the drugs don’t stop or largely stop, we’ll put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular, cars.”

Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of Homeland Security, said Tuesday night that the administration is treating the illegal immigration crisis at the border as if it were a “Cat 5 hurricane disaster” and, accordingly, “is bringing all of the agencies together. We’re asking everybody to chip in.”

She made those remarks on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News host Tucker Carlson pointed out that “entire populations from Latin America are [now] moving north. In February, authorities apprehended 76,000 illegal arrivals at the Mexican border, but last month, that number had ballooned to 100,000.”

He also noted that these days — as opposed to years ago, when mostly single men tried to cross the border — “if illegal immigrants show up here with children, they’re almost certain to be released into the United States. They will never be deported. Close to 100 percent of children in families that tainted the border last year are still here. It’s a scam.”

“Our current political class,” Carlson added, “has spent years pretending that is not true. [Yet] in villages across Central America, they know it is true. Come to America, bring your kids, free schools, free health care, higher wages — they can’t kick you out … No wonder our immigration is out of control.”

Trump, even before he was elected, brought up the problems of illegal immigration — a topic that made many in America sit up straight.

Related: ‘Mother of All Caravans’ Headed for Border; Trump Will Cut Aid

He’s continuing to “raise the alarm bell,” said Nielsen on Tuesday, “but only now are we starting to see a mainstream press, not on this particular channel, [report] that there is a crisis. And that’s what there is. So … we are sending more migrants back to Mexico to await their immigration proceedings. We are pulling folks from the ports of entry to help interdict those who are choosing to come here illegally. It is a crime … It is a crime to come illegally between ports of entry, to stop them and to provide humanitarian assistance. By the smugglers — they are coming through remote areas … Many of the people coming [here] are economic migrants. They are not truly seeking asylum.”

“We want to help those who are,” she added.

“But many of them have been given ‘magic words’ to come in and to get a job and take that job away from Americans. So we are looking to increase rates at E-Verify. We’ve made it easier for employers to comply with it, but we’re looking to do everything we can throughout the system to apply penalties where we can.”

meet the author

Maureen Mackey served as editor-in-chief and managing editor of LifeZette for nearly five years. Before that, she held senior editorial positions at major publications, helping The Fiscal Times win a MIN Award for Best New Site as managing editor and Reader's Digest win an American Society of Magazine Editors Award for General Excellence as book editor. Her work has appeared in Real Clear Politics, CNBC, A Fine Line, AARP Magazine, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider, and The Week, among other outlets. She is a member of the Newswomen's Club of New York and the American Legion Auxiliary.

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