Trump Criticizes Biden’s Border Policy in Arizona

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Former President Donald Trump criticized President Joe Biden’s recently announced executive order targeting immigrants seeking asylum at the U.S. southern border during a campaign appearance in Arizona, a key battleground and border state.

“Biden’s order is not a border security plan. It’s a concession to the fact that he has lost control over our border, and he’s totally lost control over the border and it’s a really dangerous place,” Trump said at a Phoenix town hall event with Turning Point Action CEO Charlie Kirk Thursday afternoon.

Trump stated he would reverse the order on his first day in office if reelected.

“He’s conceding death, and he’s conceding defeat at the border. On day one of my administration, I will be rescinding crooked Joe’s outrageous executive order,” Trump continued. “And I will be slamming the door shut or the Biden migrant app. And I will terminate every single open borders policy of the Biden administration as soon as I take the oath of office; it’ll take place.”

The Biden administration unveiled the executive order Tuesday afternoon, closing the border after the number of immigrants entering the United States unlawfully exceeds 2,500 per day.

The order was met with quick backlash from Republicans and Democrats. The American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue the administration over the order.

In an interview with ABC News on Thursday, Biden stood by the timing of the executive order, just five months before the election, citing immigration as a top concern in polls. If he had acted sooner, Biden told David Muir, he would be blamed for “blowing up” the “better” and more expansive border legislation pending in the Senate.

Muir asked Biden to respond to Trump’s claim that the asylum executive order is “weak and pathetic.”

“Is he describing himself? Weak and pathetic?” Biden said.

In Arizona, Trump claimed he would go further than Biden to secure the border. “I want to send Joe Biden’s illegal aliens back home where they belong. They have to go back home,” he said. “Because quite simply, Joe Biden wants an invasion. I want a deportation.

“Under the Trump administration, we will not be apologizing to illegal alien criminals. We will be putting them behind bars and throwing them out of our country rapidly,” he later said.

The former president acknowledged controversial former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whom he pardoned in 2017, on stage. Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt of court after disregarding a judge’s order to stop jailing people he suspected of entering the U.S. illegally.

“I don’t kiss men, but I kiss him,” Trump said as the two men embraced. “We had a real border with this guy. People said he was too tough. … Now they’re saying, ‘Where is Sheriff Joe?’”

The Biden campaign quickly responded on social media. “Trump brings Joe Arpaio on stage, a convicted criminal pardoned by Trump who racially profiled and abused immigrants,” the campaign posted on X.

The GOP hopes that the public’s growing concern with the border crisis will help Trump win a second term, flip control of the Senate from Democrats, and retain the House.

Several Republican lawmakers joined Trump at the Phoenix event in a show of strength and support.

Reps. Eli Crane (R-AZ), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), and Paul Gosar (R-AZ), along with Arizona Republican senatorial candidate Kari Lake and Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH), were among those supporting the former president.

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) speaks to reporters Thursday, June 6, 2024, at a town hall in Phoenix organized by the conservative youth organization Turning Point. (AP Photo/Ty O’Neil)

The event marks Trump’s first appearance in Arizona since a Manhattan jury found him guilty of falsifying business records related to an alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

The former president criticized the ruling and maintained his stance that the justice system was “rigged” against him.

“I just went through a rigged trial in New York with a highly conflicted — and I mean highly conflicted — judge where there was no crime. It was made up fabricated stuff,” Trump said, disparaging Judge Juan Merchan, who presided over the trial.

Democrats began attacking Trump hours before he spoke at the Turning Point event.

“After canceling not one, not two, but three trips to the state, Trump is finally making his way to Arizona, but instead of meeting with working families, he’s choosing to spend time with the most extreme Arizonians he knows: the Arizona GOP and Turning Point,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Cameron Niven said in a statement.

The DNC also launched its first paid advertisements in Phoenix, highlighting Trump’s status as a convicted felon.

Later Thursday evening, an interview Trump conducted with television host Dr. Phil McGraw will air on Merit Street Media.

Trump claimed that his family members are at the top of his mind as he contends with four criminal cases.

“When the crowds aren’t cheering, what’s the darkest moment you think of?” McGraw asked.

“The hardest part for me is family,” Trump said. “It’s hard on my family. I have a very good wife, and she reads this crap.”

When McGraw attempted to plead with the former president to back away from campaigns of retribution, Trump appeared to consider the suggestion seriously in a clip released before the interview aired.

“Revenge does take time,” Trump said.

Mabinty Quarshie
Mabinty Quarshie
National politics correspondent. Previously, Mabinty was a national political reporter and assistant elections editor at USA Today. She holds a bachelor’s from George Mason University and a master’s in journalism from Georgetown University.

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