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Trump hails border wall construction, calls for 'peace and calm' in Texas

By Don Jacobson & Daniel Uria
Trump hails border wall construction, calls for 'peace and calm' in Texas
President Donald Trump departs the White House on Tuesday for a trip to Texas and the U.S.-Mexico border. Photo by Samuel Corum/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 12 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump visited a section of the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas on Tuesday to mark the completion of 450 miles of border wall.

Speaking in the border town of Alamo, Trump hailed the physical border barrier as "one of the largest infrastructure projects in the history of our country" while touting his administration's immigration policy changes.

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"Through the landmark reforms we have put into place we have ended immigration chaos and reestablished American sovereignty," Trump said.

President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to undo many of Trump's policies, including halting the construction of the border wall.

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"We can't let the next administration even think about taking it down, if you can believe that," Trump warned. "I don't think that will happen. I think when you see what it does and how it's so important to our country nobody's going to be touching it."

The trip to Hidalgo County just eight days from the scheduled end of his presidency marked Trump's first scheduled in-person appearance since Wednesday, when he spoke at an inflammatory rally near the White House and encouraged followers to go to the U.S. Capitol.

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He addressed the siege of the Capitol building by his supporters as they sought to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the presidential election.

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"As I have consistently said throughout my administration, we believe in respecting America's history and traditions, not tearing them down. We believe in the rule of law, not in violence or rioting," he said.

Five people died in the Capitol attack and Trump now faces removal from office. Monday, the House filed an article of impeachment that says he verbally incited the riot.

Trump also called for "peace and calm" amid the presidential transition.

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"Now is the time for our nation to heal," he said.

Earlier in the day he said he doesn't want to see violent clashes ahead of Biden's inauguration next week.

"I want no violence," Trump said.

He also criticized efforts by Congress to remove him from office, through impeachment or the 25th Amendment, saying "the 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me."

Before moving forward with impeachment, the House will first vote Tuesday on a resolution asking Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, declaring Trump unfit for office and forcing his removal. If Pence doesn't cooperate, the House will move to impeach.

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If he isn't removed at some point over the next week, Trump will depart on Jan. 20 when Biden is inaugurated.

Some Texas residents and officials opposed Trump's visit Tuesday.

Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez said tensions in the Rio Grande Valley are "dangerously high" and protests were expected with both supporters and opponents of the president.

"We're hopeful that the people that are coming here are truly patriots," Cortez told KTRK-TV in Houston.

"Patriots don't destroy other parts of America and don't hurt other Americans."

Siege aftermath: damage to historic U.S. Capitol

Capitol Hill police salute the passing of the funeral hearse on Sunday for slain Officer Brian Sicknick, who died in the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

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