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In Racine, Trump takes on Biden over the issue of immigration

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump walks to the podium at a campaign event Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Racine, Wis.
Jeffrey Phelps
/
Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump walks to the podium at a campaign event Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Racine, Wis.

A pro-immigration announcement Tuesday morning by President Joe Biden gave fresh rhetorical fuel to former President Donald Trump’s ongoing criticism of illegal immigration, as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee campaigned in Racine Tuesday afternoon.

Biden issued executive orders making it easier for undocumented spouses of U.S. residents to stay in the country legally and for undocumented young adults, sometime called DREAMers, to more easily get employer-sponsored work visas that would put them on a path to citizenship.

The move drew praise from two Wisconsin-based groups. Forward Latino, whose national president Darryl Morin was present at the White House for the Biden announcement, said Biden, “Not only did what was right morally, but what was right for our economy.”

Christine Neuman-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera, said in a statement, “This milestone is a product of the struggle and a recognition of the power that the immigrant rights movement has built.”

Trump supporters, some of whom had been waiting for two or three hours, stand in the hot sun at Racine's Festival Park, waiting for Donald Trump to arrive. There was a breeze that kept things a bit more comfortable.
Chuck Quirmbach
/
WUWM
Trump supporters, some of whom had been waiting for two or three hours, stand in the hot sun at Racine's Festival Park, waiting for Donald Trump to arrive. There was a breeze that kept things a bit more comfortable.

But Trump had a much different reaction in his remarks in Racine, which began about 25 minutes late.

Speaking in blunt language to an audience of a few thousand people, Trump said to cheers, “We should not be talking about amnesty. We should be talking about stopping the invasion instead. This is an invasion of our country."

NPR recently reported “immigrant advocates say Trump’s use of the word invasion to describe migration is inflammatory, and even dangerous.” Trump critics Tuesday also questioned his use of the word “amnesty.”

Vivek Ramaswamy, (center, in tie and blue suit) speaks with a supporter on his way into the Racine venue. Ramaswamy was a rival of Trump in this year's GOP presidential primaries. But Trump, if elected President, said Tuesday that Ramaswamy would be working for him "in some form."
Chuck Quirmbach
/
WUWM
Vivek Ramaswamy (center in tie and blue suit) speaks with a supporter on his way into the Racine venue. Ramaswamy was a rival of Trump in this year's GOP presidential primaries. But Trump, if elected president, said Tuesday that Ramaswamy would be working for him in some form.

Several people attending the Trump rally spoke with WUWM’s Maayan Silver about their views on immigration. Racine retiree Kelly Doyle said the U.S.-Mexico border is a big issue for him. He said, “It’s wide open. Better close that up.”

Currently, U.S. Customers and Border Protection says it has more than 16,000 agents working at the southern border.

Another retiree at the rally, Dave Nelson, called illegal immigration “a threat to our democracy.” Dolores Rodriguez, a Latina, told WUWM that the undocumented immigrants “are better off than the citizens.”

Earlier this month, Biden also announced tougher measures at the border that NBC News says has reduced the number of migrants.

Trump devoted a significant percentage of his remarks to illegal immigration.

But he began by addressing the recent controversy over him calling Milwaukee “horrible," later contending he was just talking about crime and alleged election fraud in the city.

Tuesday, Trump maintained, “I love Milwaukee. I was the one who picked Milwaukee (for the Republican National Convention next month.)”

Democrats pointed to a New York Times article Tuesday that reported Trump didn’t plan to stay in Milwaukee during the RNC, planning instead to stay at a Trump hotel in Chicago. But, the Times says that the Trump campaign changed its tune after media inquiries, and now, the former President plans to sleep in Milwaukee.

Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) who has been out of office since losing to Democrat Tony Evers in the 2018 race for governor, speaks with a national reporter at Tuesday's rally in Racine.
Chuck Quirmbach
/
WUWM
Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, who has been out of office since losing to Democrat Tony Evers in the 2018 race for governor, speaks with a national reporter at Tuesday's rally in Racine.

Democrats also noted Trump was making his first return visit to Racine County, since the Foxconn Corp. development Trump touted in the last decade has fallen far short of what Trump promised.

Trump didn’t mention Foxconn in his speech. He did say that another major Foxconn proponent, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, will help the Trump campaign effort in the state this year.

As will former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, also a Republican. Thompson and Walker spoke at Tuesday's rally prior to Trump's arrival.

Maayan is a WUWM news reporter.
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