Trump, in Pending Visit to Michigan and Wisconsin, Will Light Into Biden on the Border and Crime

Polls suggest that the likely GOP nominee has an advantage over the incumbent on immigration issues as many prospective voters say they’re concerned about illegal border crossings hitting record highs.

AP/Christian Chavez
Migrants wade through the Rio Grande to reach the United States from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. AP/Christian Chavez

LANSING, Michigan — President Trump is expected on Tuesday to attack President Biden over the latter’s handling of the border between America and Mexico when the 45th president visits Wisconsin and Michigan, both critical battleground states in the 2024 election.

Mr. Trump will first appear at Grand Rapids, Michigan, to deliver a speech about what his campaign calls “Biden’s Border Bloodbath.” He will then hold a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on the day the state holds its presidential primaries.

Polls suggest that Mr. Trump has an advantage over Mr. Biden on immigration issues as many prospective voters say they’re concerned about illegal border crossings hitting record highs. 

In recent weeks, Mr. Trump and others in his party have seized on several high-profile cases of immigrants in America illegally being charged with crimes, including the killing of a nursing student in Georgia, Laken Riley. A Venezuelan man is charged in the case.

Mr. Trump on Tuesday is expected to discuss the killing of a Michigan woman, Ruby Garcia, who was found dead on the side of a Grand Rapids highway on March 22. Police say she was in a romantic relationship with the suspect, Brandon Ortiz Vite. He told police he shot her multiple times during an argument before dropping her body on the side of the road and driving off in her red Mazda.

Authorities say the accused is a citizen of Mexico and had previously been deported following a drunk driving arrest. He does not have an attorney listed in court records.

“Under Crooked Joe Biden, EVERY state is now a border state. EVERY town is now a Border Town — because Joe Biden has brought the carnage, chaos, and killing from all over world, and dumped it straight into our own backyards,” a Trump spokeswoman, Karoline Leavitt, said in a statement previewing the former president’s speech.

FBI statistics show overall violent crime dropped again in America last year, continuing a downward trend after a pandemic-era spike. In Michigan, violent crime hit a three-year low in 2022, the most recent available data. Crime at Michigan’s largest city, Detroit, is also down, with the fewest homicides last year since 1966.

While Riley’s family attended Mr. Trump’s rally in Georgia last month and met with him backstage, it was unclear whether Garcia’s family would attend. Mr. Trump told conservative Michigan radio host Justin Barclay on Monday that he’d “love to have her family there, if they’d like to be there — it’d be in my honor” and asked him to try to coordinate.

Her sister pleaded on Facebook last week for reporters to stop politicizing her sister’s story.

Mr. Biden’s campaign, which has been hammering Mr. Trump for his role in killing a bipartisan border deal that would have added more than 1,500 new Customs and Border Protection personnel, in addition to other restrictions, preempted the speech by accusing Mr. Trump of doing the same.

“Tomorrow, Donald Trump is coming to Grand Rapids where he is expected to once again try to politicize a tragedy and sow hate and division to hide from his own record of failing Michiganders,” said the Biden campaign’s Michigan communications director, Alyssa Bradley.

Governor Whitmer, a Democrat, said Monday that there is “a real problem on our southern border” and that it’s “really critical that Congress and the president solve the problem.”

“There was a solution on the table. It was actually the former president that encouraged Republicans to walk away from getting it done,” Ms. Whitmer said. “I don’t have a lot of tolerance for political points when it continues to endanger our economy and, to some extent, our people as we saw play out in Grand Rapids recently.”

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, Democrats have touted their statewide organization, pointing to 44 field offices they already have operating across the state, along with a staff of over 50 so far.

The Trump campaign has yet to name any Wisconsin state party leaders or organizers.

The Wisconsin Republican Party has also been badly outraised in recent years and the state GOP’s executive director left in March just months ahead of the national convention coming to Milwaukee.

The visit will be Mr. Trump’s first in the state since 2022, when he held a rally to boost gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels, who lost his bid to Governor Evers.

Mr. Trump’s campaign has said it is working to catch up and will be opening dozens of offices and hiring hundreds of staff on a rolling basis over the next 30 to 45 days.

The New York Sun

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