Several federal and local Arizona officials praised President Donald Trump’s border wall for reducing undocumented immigrant crossings during his Tuesday visit.
“You’re the only president in my 23-year career that has actually come down to the border multiple times to look at — assess what actually needs to be done,” president of the National Border Patrol Council Brandon Judd said in a conference with Trump and several other officials, according to the Washington Examiner.
“I worked on the road back in the early 2000s, and I understand firsthand the calls for service related to undocumented immigrants and how high those calls for service were,” Yuma Police Chief Susan Smith told Trump during the briefing, according to the Examiner.
“After the border enhancements were put in place, I can tell you we saw a marked decline in many of those calls associated with undocumented immigrants, such as load vehicles coming across with drugs and humans, human trafficking, stolen vehicles,” Smith said.
Trump visited Yuma, Arizona, on Tuesday to assess the outcome of a $267 million initiative to construct 26 miles of border wall. He was greeted by multiple federal and state officials, and he signed the newly completed barrier in the border state, The Examiner reported.
The president’s visit marks the completion of the 200th mile of new border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, 12 News reported.
“It’s not just a wall. I keep saying ‘wall system’ on purpose because what you have delivered is something that has just not been delivered before. It’s not just a bunch of steel in the ground,” acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan said, according to the Washington Examiner. “Every town, city, and state is a border town, border city, and border state. Everything that touches our border touches every town, city, and state in this country.”
Republican Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls hailed the wall for possibly stemming the spread of the novel coronavirus in his town.
“If you fast-forwarded that situation to today, and those families were coming through with COVID-19, that would be 5,200 people coming through my community potentially with COVID-19,” Nicholls said. “So, it’s simple math. The wall prevents people from coming — that prevents the number of exposures we can have to COVID-19. From a local perspective, that helps our community.”
Trump also took to the podium in Phoenix, where he spoke at a Turning Point Action event. The president touted possible strong economic numbers for the third quarter, among other things, according to 12 News.
Riot police reportedly responded to protests outside of the event.
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