In the wake of Saturday’s mass shooting at Cielo Vista Walmart, President Donald Trump will visit El Paso, according to Federal Aviation Administration advisories. The trip comes after a visit to Dayton, Ohio, where another mass shooting occurred just hours after the El Paso tragedy.
Several officials have voiced opinions about President Trump.
“He’s helped to create what we saw in El Paso on Saturday,” presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said. “He’s helped to produce the suffering that we are experiencing right now. This community needs to heal.”
In El Paso, the emotional wounds are still open as the city mourns for those affected by the shooting. The shooter created a manifesto describing hatred toward Hispanics.
Trump has been a controversial figure in El Paso since he owes the city $470,417.05 for a February rally held at the El Paso County Coliseum, according to Laura Cruz-Acosta, communications manager for the El Paso city manager’s office.
In February, Trump held his State of the Union address where he described El Paso as one of America’s “dangerous cities” with “ an extremely high” crime rate before a barrier was constructed along its border to Mexico. However, also in February, El Paso was ranked the safest city in the country for the third year in a row by Congressional Quarterly.
“I would encourage the president’s staff members to have him do a little self-reflection. I would encourage them to show him his own words and his actions at the rallies because we’re not going to get past this until there’s acknowledgment from the very top that we need to heal,” U.S. representative for Texas’s 16th Congressional District Veronica Escobar said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
The Prospector visited the site of Saturday’s tragedy and asked residents how they felt about the President’s visit on Wednesday. Here is what they said.
“I try to remain neutral, everyone who knows me knows where I stand, but I try to remain neutral. I don’t want all the evil and corruption that’s going on to create even more division amongst us. When we take sides, I mean, we got to respect our leaders. Whether we believe in what they are standing for or what they create, I mean, we’ve always had an issue from the very beginning. So, I try to remain neutral because I want everyone to just pull together and not let it corrupt us or divide us. Whoever is the leader, we need to stand strong.”
“My personal opinion is I’m with Veronica Escobar’s opinion. I don’t think he should be welcomed here; I don’t think he would make much difference. This is an internal El Paso thing, the community itself you see it here, this is a testimony to the unity in this community. We don’t need somebody coming here and trying to divide us and dispute division, because that is all he is going to do. Eventually, that is what the conversation is going to turn to, I don’t think he is welcomed.”
“I think it’s not the time that comes, why he has divided the country with racism, with all his comments against Mexicans, with all the comments against congressmen who told them to return home, and the sheer fact not have stopped that does not make a good leader. I think this country needs a good leader to unite us. Why we share what Beto O’Rourke says, is not the time to come on. He sent the message that now is not convincing.”