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The steps towards a possible impeachment are a “ridiculous witch hunt” that is causing “a terrible anger” in the country, but “we don’t want any violence”. To reporters who ask him if he intends to resign, no answer. So President Donald Trump left Washington to fly to Texas, to Alamo, the city in the Rio Grande Valley near the US-Mexico border, the place chosen to give his first public speech since his supporters’ assault on Capitol Hill. – an insurrection incited by himself, according to the indictment that the House will vote against tomorrow.
The Donald denies having responsibility for Wednesday’s events, calling his speech “entirely appropriate”. As for the decision of Twitter and Facebook to block his accounts, it is “a catastrophic mistake”.
Although many ask him, even from his own party, no one expects a resignation speech: rather, a reissue of the motto “Remember the Alamo”, the battle cry used in 1836 by the Texans in the final battle that sanctioned independence from Mexico and the birth of the Republic of Texas, ten years before its annexation to the United States.
These few hints are enough to understand the symbolic value of Trump’s visit, who here will try to defend at least one point of his legacy: the fight against illegal immigration. The White House advertised the trip as an opportunity to “mark the completion of more than 400 miles of border wall – a promise made, a promise kept – and the administration’s efforts to reform our broken immigration system.”
Suspended by Twitter and Facebook, frustrated by the defections of his staff and the collapse in the polls, according to some drafts betrayed by his daughter Ivanka who would like to be sworn in by Joe Biden, the president has spent the last few days in silence, while Democratic lawmakers prepared articles of impeachment. “Trump has lost his power to set the agenda and is trying to force positive news about his presidency by making a list of events and photo opportunities,” said Jennifer Mercieca, professor of communications at Texas A&M University and author of the book “Demagogue for President ”on the“ rhetorical genius of Donald Trump ”.
As dem and jurists in Washington explore every avenue to defuse his future political ambitions – including the certainly simpler but controversial path of the third section of the 14th amendment – he appears determined to remain in office until the legal termination of his. presidency, at noon on January 20, in less than 8 days. According to USA Today, is coming up with a series of farewell gestures, including thanks, executive orders, and perhaps more public statements like the one in Texas.
About 400 kilometers south of San Antonio, the city of Alamo takes its name from the 19th-century mission and fortress where a Texas army was defeated, after a 13-day siege, by Mexican troops in 1836. Texans used anger for the defeat suffered (“Remember Alamo!”) as a rallying cry during their struggle for independence from Mexico: just two months after the Alamo, the Texans took their winnings during the battle of San Giacinto, making Texas a Independent republic. Although it was not physically the Fort of the time (very close to the current San Antonio) in the collective imagination the city is inextricably linked to that history.
Located in the Rio Grande Valley, this part of the border continues to be the busiest immigration corridor along the US-Mexico border. It is here that under the Trump administration the activities of strengthening and building new sections of the separation barrier between the US and Mexico have been concentrated. Customs and Border Protection has not publicly disclosed how many miles of new wall have been built in areas of the border that previously had no barriers. However – reconstructs USA Today – at least the 17 miles that according to CBP have been completed in the Rio Grande Valley sector are in areas without barriers in the past.
It is therefore to be expected that Trump will use the trip to highlight one of the pillars of his presidency: the campaign against illegal immigration. As the Associated Press recalls, over time Trump has asked for changes to the wall that have largely been rejected: he wanted it painted black to burn the hands of those who touched it; he wanted it adorned with deadly spikes; he even wanted to surround it with a moat full of alligators. Eventually, his administration oversaw the construction of some 450 miles of the border barrier, which will likely reach 475 miles by the day of the inauguration. The vast majority of that wall replaces smaller barriers that were already in existence, although the new wall is considerably more difficult to get around.
Over the past four years, Trump and his administration have taken extreme and often illegal actions to try to curb both illegal and legal immigration. Their efforts were aided in its final year by the coronavirus pandemic, which blocked international travel. But the number of people who have stopped trying to illegally cross the southern border has grown again in recent months. Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, warned the upcoming administration that easing Trump administration policies, including stopping the construction of barriers, would lead to a wave of people trying to cross the border. , creating “an absolute crisis in the first weeks”.
President-elect Joe Biden said he will stop construction of the border wall and take executive action where possible to lift some of Trump’s restrictions on legal immigration and asylum seekers. But Biden and his associates have recognized the possibility of a new border crisis if they act too quickly, and Biden said it could take six months for his administration to secure funding and put in place the necessary infrastructure to ease the restrictions on the border. ‘was Trump.
According to many observers, Trump’s visit to the Alamo risks increasing the level of tension at an already incredibly tense time. A week after Biden’s inauguration ceremony, fears are growing that the next few days could be the scene of new violent attacks by far-right groups, white supremacists and those who do not want to accept Trump’s exit. The alarm was raised by the FBI itself, which learned of planned “armed protests” in all 50 US states “from 16 until at least 20 January and in the capital from 17 to 20”.
For Janine Parry, a professor of political science at the University of Arkansas, the decision to go to the Alamo suggests the intention to “up the ante, rather than retract the incendiary effect of her latest public demonstration”. “If Americans know anything about the Alamo, it is that it was a place to make a ‘last stand’ or even go out in a ‘blaze of glory’,” the expert reminded USA Today. Again, nothing to do with surrender.
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