US President Donald Trump will visit the El Paso, Texas on Wednesday following a mass shooting in the southern border town, according to the local mayor.
During a news conference on Monday, the Mayor, Dee Margo said that the visit was not political and explained that it was his “formal duty” to welcome Trump despite their disagreements following the latter’s criticism of the Texan city earlier this year.
Margo further said, “I will continue to challenge any harmful and inaccurate statements made about El Paso. We will not allow anyone to portray El Paso in a manner that is not consistent with our history and values”.
The massacre happened at a Walmart store near the Cielo Vista Mall, a few miles from the US-Mexico border on Saturday that killed 22 people and left many injured.
President Trump had also condemned the mass shooting incident at a Walmart store in Texas and called it an act of cowardice.
Trump said that there is no justification for the killing of innocent people.
“There are no reasons or excuses that will even justify the killing of innocent people”, he added.
“Today’s shooting in El Paso, Texas was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Trump’s trip will come after Democrats such as presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke and Congresswoman Veronica Escobar publicly voiced their opposition to his visit.
Texas has been “Hispanic” since Spanish conquistadors started colonizing the area which was at the time inhabited by multiple Native American tribes, in the early 16th century.
The tense relationship between Trump and the local leaders of El Paso started at the beginning of the year following the President’s comments about this border city with Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez, which the president made during his State of the Union address.
In his speech, the president claimed that before the construction of the wall between the two cities between 2008-09, El Paso was considered “one of our nation’s most dangerous cities” for its “extremely high” rate of violence, a statement that was easily proven to be false.
The two mass shootings this weekend, which occurred just hours apart have rocked the country with their staggering combined toll of 31 deaths and dozens of injuries, reopening the recurring debate over the need for federal regulations on the purchase and possession of firearms.
(With IANS inputs)