El Paso

Trump to visit El Paso on Wednesday; Escobar & O'Rourke say he's 'not welcome' here

Reaction to Trump visit

EL PASO, Texas - President Donald Trump will visit El Paso and Dayton, Ohio — the sites of the two mass shootings that occurred this past weekend.

The Associated Press reported that the Federal Aviation Administration has issued advisories of VIP travel to El Paso and Dayton on Wednesday.

The time of Trump's visit and other details have not been announced, but sources told ABC-7 that a White House advance team was at University Medical Center of El Paso on Monday morning. It's one of two hospitals treating shooting victims.

Both the current and former Democratic members of Congress from El Paso are telling Trump that he's "not welcome" and should stay away from the Sun City because of his inflammatory rhetoric about Latinos and immigrants.

The 21-year-old suspected shooter, Patrick Wood Crusius, has reportedly told police he wanted to kill Hispanics and online posts attributed to him talk of a "Hispanic invasion" needing to be stopped.

"Words have consequences. The president has made my community and my people the enemy," said Congresswoman Veronica Escobar during an appearance on MSNBC Monday morning. "He has told the country that we are people to be feared, people to be hated."

"From my perspective, he is not welcome here. He should not come here while we are in mourning," Escobar continued. "I hope that [Trump] has the self-awareness to understand that we are in pain, and we are mourning, and we are doing the very best in our typical, graceful, El Paso way to be resilient. And so, I would ask his staff and his team to consider the fact that his words and his actions have played a role in this."

Meantime, former Congressman and presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke made similar comments about Trump not being welcome in an interview Monday with the El Paso Times.

"He's helped to create what we saw in El Paso on Saturday," O'Rourke said. "He's helped to produce the suffering that we are experiencing right now. This community needs to heal."

It seems many residents in El Paso agreed with Escobar and O'Rourke on Monday that Trump’s rhetoric is difficult for them to stomach.

“It’s offensive just because most of us here are Hispanic” said Isel Velasco, 25. “It’s not like he’s going to help or do anything about it.”

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, a Republican, defended his decision to welcome the president and also deflected criticism.

“I want to clarify for the political spin that this is the office of the mayor of El Paso in an official capacity welcoming the office of the president of the United States,” Margo said.

Acknowledging the backlash in the community, Margo added: “I’m already getting the emails and the phone calls.”

Speaking at the White House earlier Monday, Trump condemned the two mass shooting attacks in which 31 people were killed and dozens of others were wounded. He called for bipartisan cooperation to respond to an epidemic of gun violence, but he offered scant details on concrete steps that could be taken.

“We vow to act with urgent resolve,” Trump said.

In his scripted remarks from the White House, Trump urged unity while blaming mental illness and video games. But he made no mention of limiting gun sales.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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