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Trump returning to Michigan amid campaign border battle

trump speaking into a microphone
Former President Donald Trump plans to return to Grand Rapids on Tuesday, April 2 for an immigration speech (Evan El-Amin /
  • Trump set to campaign in Grand Rapids, criticize Biden border policies
  • Planned speech comes on heels of an alleged murder by a man who had been deported and re-entered the country illegally
  • Also follows state representative’s false claim of ‘invaders’ at Detroit airport

April 2: Trump in Michigan blasts ‘border bloodbath. Here are the facts
April 1: Trump in Michigan: What data says about illegal immigration, crime and economy

LANSING — Donald Trump will return to Michigan next week for a campaign speech in Grand Rapids, where intends to criticize southern border policies under Democratic President Joe Biden, his campaign announced Thursday. 

Trump's visit, planned for Tuesday, follows recent reports that a previously deported immigrant who re-entered the country illegally is facing murder charges in Grand Rapids. 

Brandon Ortiz-Vite is accused of killing fellow 25-year-old Ruby Garcia in what authorities have called a "domestic violence homicide" that stemmed from their romantic relationship. 


There are typically 600 to 700 murders in Michigan each year, most committed by legal residents. But Republicans have amplified the Grand Rapids case while arguing Biden is not doing enough to secure the country's southern border. 

"West Michigan suburban families are now facing the fact that the worst issues of the southern border have now made their way into our backyard," Michigan GOP Chairman Pete Hoekstra said in a Thursday evening statement.

"I look forward to welcoming President Trump,” Hoekstra added.

Biden's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s pending visit and planned immigration speech.The president has in recent weeks criticized Congressional Republicans for rejecting a bipartisan border deal that aimed to reduce illegal crossings. 

“Voters understand that President Biden worked with Republicans to negotiate the toughest and fairest bill to secure the border in decades," Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes said Thursday in a statement. "It was Donald Trump who ordered his MAGA allies to kill it because he doesn’t care about border security – he only cares about seeking revenge and retribution."

The immigration debate intensified in Michigan late Wednesday when state Rep. Matt Maddock, R-Milford, posted pictures to social media of buses at Detroit Metro Airport that he falsely claimed were "loaded up with illegal invaders."

Airport authorities later confirmed the buses were actually transporting college basketball players who had just flown into Michigan for an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game hosted at Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit.

Trump is expected to speak at the DeVos Place convention center in Grand Rapids on Tuesday at around 2:30 p.m. 

Immigration has long been a top campaign issue for Trump, who proposed building a southern border wall as part of his winning 2016 campaign. 

The former president won Michigan's Feb. 27 presidential primary and is now the presumed GOP nominee to take on Biden this fall. 

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