President Donald J. Trump may visit the Rio Grande Valley next week.
Trump is tentatively scheduled to visit the Valley on Tuesday, according to two law enforcement sources. Whether or not Trump will actually make the trip, however, remains unclear.
“I think he’s got much bigger issues than coming over and seeing his 14th century solution called ‘The Wall,’” said U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, who represents western Hidalgo County. “But, as you know, he started his campaign attacking Mexico and building the wall and all that. And I think he wants to end his term the same way.”
The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment on Saturday afternoon.
The U.S. Secret Service met with Valley law enforcement officials Friday at the Texas Transnational Intelligence Center in McAllen, according to a law enforcement source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. They discussed plans for a potential Trump visit on Tuesday.
Under the tentative plan, Trump would fly to Harlingen and tour the border wall, according to the law enforcement source.
A second law enforcement source, who works for the U.S. Border Patrol, confirmed that planning had started for a presidential visit on Tuesday.
While planning for the presidential trip is underway, both law enforcement sources said the details remain tentative. The White House may change the plan or cancel the trip altogether.
Marianna Treviño Wright, the executive director of the National Butterfly Center in Mission, said a contact with the No Border Wall Coalition told her about the potential visit.
“This is typical behavior for Trump,” said Treviño Wright, a frequent critic of the president who waged an all-out fight against the border wall. “Impeachment proceedings are supposed to start on Monday in D.C., so he’s going to leave D.C. and he’s going to come up with something that is designed to divert media attention from anything that attempts to hold him in a bad light or hold him accountable.”
Treviño Wright said someone at the No Border Wall Coalition had an acquaintance in Austin who had been asked to handle audio-visual equipment for a presidential event in the Valley on Tuesday. That person declined.
U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, said he hadn’t heard anything about Trump visiting the Valley, but the prospect of Trump visiting the border wall before leaving office didn’t surprise him.
“What a disgrace,” Gonzalez said.