Supporters, protesters out in force for Trump’s border visit

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CALEXICO, Calif. – It was a strange sight. In one part of town there seemed to be only supporters, and in another, only protesters.

Either way, hundreds turned out in Calexico for President Donald Trump’s visit to the border wall.

“It was just wonderful to see him,” said Karen Kelley, who drove three hours with her husband Malcolm to see the motorcade drive by. “It’s a rare occasion when a President visits the Imperial Valley.”

The couple were two of about a hundred people lined along the street just outside a Border Patrol center where the president was scheduled to meet with local officials.

“We just came to support Trump,” said another California resident. “He put in the effort; he’s traveling all the way across country, where there’s a hot reception for him, so we are just going to meet him halfway.”

That supporter accurately judged the temperament of others in the city: Across town and much earlier in the morning, around 200 protesters came together with an inflatable, 20-foot baby Trump balloon in hand.

“They want to focus on things that actually affect a border town, which is low employment rate, the river being polluted,” said Cristina Torres, a resident who opposes new border wall and the money being spent on it.

Other protesters pointed out the president’s talk about shutting down the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Let me tell you, it’s going to have a great impact on labor,” said Ruben DeLaRo. “All the people that work in the fields are from this side.”

DeLaRo pointed out that Calexico is just across the border from Mexicali, and that the sister cities work hand-in-hand with workers and family members often driving across the border daily.

“My relatives are over there, and I grew up with a lot of my time over there.”

Either way, both sides said they were happy the President came to Calexico in person Friday. They hope a firsthand look will bring perspective and the opportunity to talk to locals about the issues in person.

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