President Donald Trump continues to face staunch opposition to his agenda, no matter how many times he melts down and proclaims his anti-immigrant push the only way. This Friday ahead of a presidential visit in Calexico, California, protesters launched one of the Trump baby blimps that’s marked anti-Trump demonstrations across the world. Trump was set to tour a section of border barriers that his administration was in the process of constructing that had first been ordered under President Barack Obama, although they’ve put up a plaque proclaiming it as the first section of Trump’s long sought southern border wall.
Supporters of the president gathered in the Calexico area too this Friday, although organizers on that side said they only expected around 200 people. Video of the anti-Trump demonstrators makes it seem like they were at least on par with that if not hosting more.
— Laura Acevedo (@10NewsAcevedo) April 5, 2019
On the occasion of his border visit, Trump asserted on Twitter:
‘Within two years we will have close to 400 miles built or under construction & keeping our Country SAFE – not easy when the Dems are always fighting to stop you!’
The Calexico protesters’ blimp imagery first emerged during protests against Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom last year, where London Mayor Sadiq Khan attracted criticism for allowing the balloon to be flown. At the time, Trump complained that the demonstration made him feel unwelcome — which means it was working. Organizers had explained that their effort constituted meeting Trump at his level of surface-level attacks and rhetoric in somewhat of a Hail Mary effort to get through to the endlessly belligerent leader.
In the time since, the imagery has made a number of appearances across the United States. In California, it flew over Los Angeles ahead of last year’s Politicon, which describes itself as the “Unconventional Political Convention.” More recently in El Paso, Texas, demonstrators raised thousands of dollars to ship one of the balloons from a California organization that themselves raised large sums of money that they used to procure six of the balloons, which they let groups like the El Paso one borrow. At the time in Texas, Trump was also set to be physically present, hosting a rally in the near-border town in support of his immigration policy agenda. Democratic Congressman turned presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke closed out the protest rally at which the Texas balloon flew, attracting criticism from the president.
The balloons underscore an important point — there is no legitimate basis to Trump’s claims about the border. He might as well be an angry baby with a Twitter account. During his State of the Union address, he claimed that El Paso crime rates dropped significantly after they put up physical border barriers in the area — but that’s just not true. Before and after, the city was one of the safest in the nation. Only one border county has a crime rate higher than comparable-sized jurisdictions elsewhere in the United States. The rest are significantly safer than average — so where’s the crisis Trump is so set on convincing everyone of?
Featured Image via screenshot