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In Racine, Trump Attacks Biden Immigration Plan, Disputes ‘Horrible City’ Comment

June 18, 2024 9p

(WPR)---During a campaign stop in Racine Tuesday, former President Donald Trump criticized a newly announced plan from President Joe Biden to help give U.S. citizenship to spouses and children of immigrants lacking permanent legal status.

Biden announced his plan Tuesday in an effort to “ensure that U.S. citizens with noncitizen spouses and children can keep their families together,” according to a statement from the White House. 

Trump focused much of his remarks on Biden’s handling of the southern border. He also called the newly announced plan from Biden “amnesty.”

“Our country is under invasion. We should not be talking amnesty, we should be talking about stopping the invasion instead,” Trump said.

“We have to seal the border. We have to let people come into our country, but they have to come in legally,” Trump added. “We have to send Joe Biden’s illegal aliens back home where they belong. We have no choice.”

Under Biden’s plan, “noncitizens” will be eligible for citizenship if they’ve lived in the U.S. for 10 or more years and are married to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, according to a statement from the White House. They also have to be “present in the United States without admission or parole,” according to a Department of Homeland Security statement.

Those who meet those guidelines after a Department of Homeland Security assessment will “be afforded a three-year period to apply for permanent residency,” the statement said.

Trump, while speaking for nearly an hour-and-a half to hundreds of supporters gathered outside Racine’s Festival Park, criticized the plan at length, saying he’d protect the border if elected in November.

“Joe Biden wants to be the president for illegal aliens, but I will be the president for law abiding citizens every background, every walk of life, every race, religion, color and creed. I’ll be the president,” Trump said. 

Trump’s visit came weeks after he was convicted of 34 felonies. Trump told the crowd that every time he’s indicted by “radical left Democrats, Marxist communists and fascists,” he considers it “a great badge of honor.”

The visit also came less than a month before the start of the 2024 Republican National Convention. Last week, Trump reportedly called Milwaukee, the host city for the convention, a “horrible city” during a closed-door meeting. 

The news of that remark, first reported by Punchbowl News, led to a flurry of responses from across the nation.

Trump began his speech Tuesday by addressing that report.

“I love Milwaukee,” Trump said. 

“They say, ‘Oh, he doesn’t like Milwaukee.’ I love Milwaukee,” Trump added. “I said, ‘You got to fix the crime, we all know that. You got to make sure the elections are honest.’ But I’m the one that picked Milwaukee.”

When leaving the event, Brian Schimming, the chair of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, responded to that claim. 

“No question about it, we wouldn’t be having the convention in Milwaukee if Donald Trump didn’t want it there,” Schimming said.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump watch as he speaks at a campaign rally Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Racine, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

A pledge to replace ‘Bidenomics’ with ‘MAGAnomics’

Trump also criticized Biden on the economy, saying if he’s elected in November, he’ll toss out “Bidenomics” and replace it with “MAGAnomics,” a nod to his “Make America Great Again” campaign theme. 

During a press conference Tuesday morning before the visit, Democrats said Trump favors corporations over people. 

“(Trump) does not care about the people of Racine County or Wisconsin,” said Wisconsin Assembly Minority Leader Greta Neubauer, D-Racine. 

“Racine is going to be critically important in this election. We know that turnout in this community is essential. Racine county is always a battleground,” she added.

A new NPR/PBS News/Marist poll found Trump and Biden were tied at 49 percent among registered voters nationally. That poll also found that 54 percent of Americans believed Trump would handle the economy better. 

Trump was last in Wisconsin during a visit to Waukesha in May. During that trip, he mainly talked about inflation rates and the economy.

Biden also made a stop in Wisconsin in May as part of an announcement from Microsoft regarding its data center development in Mount Pleasant.

Editor’s note: Margaret Faust contributed to this report.