El Paso Mayor Dee Margo (R) announced Monday that President Trump will visit the city on Wednesday, four days after a 21-year-old gunman from an affluent Dallas suburb drove 10 hours to a local Walmart and murdered at least 22 people in what federal prosecutors are calling domestic terrorism with apparent anti-Latino motives. "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, adding that he's already "getting the emails and the phone calls" from unhappy residents. Trump is also expected to visit Dayton, Ohio, where a gunman killed nine people early Sunday.
Rep. Veronica Escobar (D), whose district includes much of El Paso, told NBC's Morning Joe on Monday that as far as she's concerned, Trump "is not welcome here. ... Words have consequences. The president has made my community and my people the enemy." Escobar's predecessor, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, also said Trump "has no place here."
Trump held a rally in El Paso in February — the city manager's office said Monday that Trump's campaign still owes the city $569,204.63 in police and public safety costs — and many residents said they were unhappy to see him return. "We were safe until he started talking," John Smith-Davis, 47, a retired Army veteran, told the Los Angeles Times. "He made us a target with his hateful rhetoric."
"It's offensive just because most of us here are Hispanic" Isel Velasco, 25, told The Associated Press. "It's not like he's going to help or do anything about it." Longtime El Paso resident Jaime Abeytia mostly agreed. "Unless he's coming with some solid policy changes that directly address the available of high-capacity weapons — and not use the opportunity to propose more draconian immigration policy — I'm not interested in a Trump visit."