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Trump to visit Grand Rapids Tuesday

Courtesy photo
White House
Former President Donald J. Trump speaking at a ceremony honoring those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It was held at the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Washington, Sept. 11, 2019.

Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to be in Grand Rapids Tuesday.

The Kent County GOP says it will not be a rally, but instead a news conference with law enforcement and invited guests.

Immigration is likely to headline Trump’s speech.

His visit is in the wake of the alleged murder of a 25-year-old Grand Rapids woman by a romantic partner. Authorities suggest it’s a case of domestic violence.

But Republicans are highlighting the case as what they describe as the result of the Biden administration’s immigration policy.

That’s because the suspect was in the U.S. without permission from immigration authorities. Despite reportedly living in Michigan much of his life, officials say he had previously been deported under the Trump administration.

“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. This is now the second murder by an illegal immigrant in the last year in Kent County. One is a tragedy, two is a trend,” Michigan Republican Party chair Pete Hoekstra said in a statement.

The historically high number of migrants arriving at the U.S. southern border has already become a major political talking point this election cycle.

Democrats say they’re trying to fix the situation. They’re pointing to what was once a bipartisan immigration package that has stalled in Congress after Republicans declined to support it.

“Let’s not forget that President Trump was the one who told people to talk away from the first very real comprehensive solution that was put on the table,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “It’s unconscionable that he would now come in and say that the problem’s not solved when he’s the reason why.”

Colin Jackson is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network.