Trump to go after Biden on border, crime when he visits battleground Michigan and Wisconsin

He will hold a rally in Green Bay on Tuesday

US elections Trump Donald Trump | AP

Donald Trump is expected on Tuesday to attack President Joe Biden over his handling of the US-Mexico border when he visits Wisconsin and Michigan, both critical battleground states in the 2024 election.

Trump will first appear in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to deliver a speech about what his campaign calls Biden's Border Bloodbath. He will then hold a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on the day the state holds its presidential primaries.

Polls suggest Trump has an advantage over Biden on immigration issues as many prospective voters say they're concerned about illegal border crossings hitting record highs. In recent weeks, Trump and others in his party have seized on several high-profile cases of immigrants in the US illegally being charged with crimes, including the killing of Laken Riley, a nursing student in Georgia, for which a Venezuelan man is charged.

Trump on Tuesday is expected to discuss the killing of Ruby Garcia, a Michigan woman who was found dead on the side of a Grand Rapids highway on March 22. Police say she was in a romantic relationship with the suspect, Brandon Ortiz Vite. He told police he shot her multiple times during an argument before dropping her body on the side of the road and driving off in her red Mazda.

Authorities say Ortiz Vite is a citizen of Mexico and had previously been deported following a drunk driving arrest. He does not have an attorney listed in court records.

Under Crooked Joe Biden, EVERY state is now a border state. EVERY town is now a Border Town because Joe Biden has brought the carnage, chaos, and killing from all over world, and dumped it straight into our own backyards, Trump spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said in a statement previewing the former president's speech.

FBI statistics show overall violent crime dropped again in the US last year, continuing a downward trend after a pandemic-era spike. In Michigan, violent crime hit a three-year low in 2022, the most recent available data. Crime in Michigan's largest city, Detroit, is also down, with the fewest homicides last year since 1966.

While Riley's family attended Trump's rally in Georgia last month and met with him backstage, it was unclear whether Garcia's family would attend. Trump told conservative Michigan radio host Justin Barclay on Monday that he'd love to have her family there, if they'd like to be there it'd be in my honour" and asked him to try to coordinate.

Her sister pleaded on Facebook last week for reporters to stop politicizing her sister's story.

Biden's campaign, which has been hammering Trump for his role in killing a bipartisan border deal that would have added more than 1,500 new Customs and Border Protection personnel, in addition to other restrictions, preempted the speech by accusing Trump of doing the same.

Tomorrow, Donald Trump is coming to Grand Rapids where he is expected to once again try to politicize a tragedy and sow hate and division to hide from his own record of failing Michiganders, said Alyssa Bradley, the Biden campaign's Michigan communications director.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said Monday that there is a real problem on our southern border and that it's really critical that Congress and the president solve the problem.

There was a solution on the table. It was actually the former president that encouraged Republicans to walk away from getting it done, Whitmer said. I don't have a lot of tolerance for political points when it continues to endanger our economy and, to some extent, our people as we saw play out in Grand Rapids recently.

Trump has been leaning into inflammatory rhetoric about the record surge of migrants at the southern border since he became his party's presumptive nominee. He has portrayed migrants as poisoning the blood of the country, questioned whether some should even be considered people, and claimed, without evidence, that countries have been emptying their prisons and mental asylums into the US.

He has also accused Biden of waging a conspiracy to overthrow the United States of America," claiming Biden is trying to "collapse the American system, nullify the will of the actual American voters and establish a new base of power that gives them control for generations.

Republicans in both states are in catchup mode as they appear to be far behind Democrats organizationally just six months before the first early votes are cast in the general election.

Michigan Republican Party Chairman Pete Hoekstra told The Associated Press last week that the Trump campaign and its partners at the Republican National Committee had yet to make significant general election investments in the state, with no general election field staff in place.

Republican lawmakers in Michigan have also found themselves entrenched in controversy in recent weeks. State Rep. Matthew Maddock falsely claimed that buses carrying college athletes to Detroit for March Madness were shuttling illegal migrant invaders into the city.

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, Democrats have touted their statewide organization, pointing to 44 field offices they already have operating across the state, along with a staff of over 50 so far.

The Trump campaign has yet to name any Wisconsin state party leaders or organizers.

The Wisconsin Republican Party has also been badly outraised in recent years and the state GOP's executive director left in March just months ahead of the national convention coming to Milwaukee.

Democrats have been reveling in a string of victories including the Wisconsin Supreme Court's recent overturning of Republican-drawn legislative maps, which is expected to result in Democratic gains.

The visit will be Trump's first in the state since 2022, when he held a rally to boost gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels, who lost his bid to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

Trump's campaign has said it is working to catch up and will be opening dozens of offices and hiring hundreds of staff on a rolling basis over the next 30 to 45 days. 

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