Trump returns to the U.S.-Mexico border as he lays out hard-line immigration proposals

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump poses for a photo with a Texas state trooper 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)

(Eric Gay / Associated Press)

Trump returns to the U.S.-Mexico border as he lays out hard-line immigration proposals

Immigration and the Border

Nov. 19, 2023

Donald Trump returned to the U.S.-Mexico border for a visit Sunday as he promotes a hard-line immigration agenda that would be far more expansive than the policies he pursued during his first term as president.

Before making remarks in Edinburg, Texas, Trump served meals to Texas National Guard soldiers, troopers and others who will be stationed at the border over Thanksgiving. He was joined by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, a longtime ally and fellow border hawk who on Sunday endorsed the front-runner for the 2024 nomination.

Trump thanked Abbott in front of a crowd of about 150 at an airport hangar in Edinburg, saying that in defeating Democratic President Biden next year, Im going to make your job much easier.”

“Youll be able to focus on other things in Texas, Trump said, speaking in the town that is about 30 miles from the Hidalgo Port of Entry crossing with Mexico.

Trump has been laying out immigration proposals that would mark a dramatic escalation of the approach he used in office and that 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 in Iowa



Democrats have portrayed Trump’s plans as extreme.

Donald Trump is going after immigrants, our rights


our safety and our democracy


Biden reelection campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said on a conference call with reporters. “And that is what really is on the ballot

last year


Trump also wants to:

revive and expand his controversial travel ban, which initially targeted seven Muslim-majority countries. Trump’s initial executive order was fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld what Trump complained was a watered down version that included travelers from North Korea and some Venezuelan officials.

begin new “ideological screening for all immigrants, aiming to bar Christian-hating communists and Marxists” and dangerous lunatics, haters, bigots and maniacs” from entering the United States. Those who come to and join our country must love our country,” he has said.

bar those who support the Hamas militant group. If you empathize with radical Islamic terrorists and extremists, youre disqualified,” Trump says. “If you want to abolish the state of Israel, youre disqualified. If you support Hamas or any ideology thats having to do with that or any of the other really sick thoughts that go through peoples minds very dangerous thoughts youre disqualified.

deport immigrants living in the country who harbor jihadist sympathies and send immigration agents to pro-jihadist demonstrations to identify violators. He would target foreign nationals on college campuses and revoke the student visas of those who express anti-American or antisemitic views.

invoke the Alien Enemies Act to


remove from the United States all known or suspected gang members and drug dealers. That law was used to justify internment camps in World War II. It allows the president to unilaterally detain and deport people who are not U.S. citizens.

end the constitutional right to birthright citizenship by signing an executive order his first day in office that would codify a legally untested reinterpretation of the 14th Amendment. Under his order, only children with at least one U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parent would be eligible for a passport, Social Security number and other benefits.

terminate all work permits and cut off funding for shelter and transportation for people who are in the country illegally.

build more of the wall along the border, crack down on legal asylum-seekers and reimplement measures such as Title 42, which allowed Trump to turn away immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

press Congress to pass a law so anyone caught trafficking women or children would receive the death penalty.

shift federal law enforcement agents, including FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration personnel, to immigration enforcement, and re-position at the southern border thousands of troops currently stationed overseas. Before we defend the borders of foreign countries we must secure the border of our country,” he said



Trump has made frequent trips to the border as a candidate and president. During his 2016 campaign, he traveled to Laredo, Texas, in July 2015 for a visit that highlighted how his views on immigration helped him win media attention and support from the GOP base.

The border has also become a centerpiece of Abbott’s agenda and the subject of an escalating fight with the Biden administration over immigration. The three-term governor has approved billions of dollars in new border wall construction, authorized razor wire on the banks of the Rio Grande and bused thousands of migrants to Democratic-led cities across the United States.

Abbott is expected to soon sign what would be one of Texas most aggressive measures to date: a law that allows police officers to arrest migrants suspected of entering the country illegally and empowers judges to effectively deport them. The measure is a dramatic challenge to the U.S. governments authority over immigration. It already has


drawn rebuke from Mexico.

Still, the Texas GOPs hard right has not always embraced Abbott. Trump posted on his social media platform earlier this year that the governor was MISSING IN ACTION! after Republicans voted to impeach Texas Att


y. Gen.


Ken Paxton, a Trump ally. Abbott was also booed at a 2022 Trump rally.

But Abbott’s navigation within the GOP has built him broad support in Texas, where he has outperformed more strident Republicans down-ballot and helped the GOP make crucial inroads with

Hispanic Latino


Weber and Price reported from Texas, and Colvin reported from New York. Associated Press writer Will Weissert in Wilmington, Del., contributed to this report.