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Trump warns of 'tremendous danger' on US-Mexico border trip

Donald Trump has stuck to his earlier statements about the connection between Mexican immigrants and crime on a visit to the border city of Laredo. A local legislator has taken offense at Trump's "vitriolic rhetoric."

On a visit to the US-Mexican border on Thursday, bombastic presidential hopeful Donald Trump refused to back down from his controversial rhetoric about Mexican immigrants causing crime. Trump had called his trip to Laredo, Texas, a "boots on the ground" visit to see for himself the "tremendous danger on the border with the illegals coming in."

When asked whether he possessed evidence to back up his claim that Mexico sends rapists and criminals across the border, the would-be Republican candidate for president answered: "Yes, I have, and I've heard it from a lot of different people."

Trump's trip to Laredo, on the opposite side of the Rio Grande from Nuevo Laredo, a stronghold of the Los Zetas cartel, got off to a rocky start when border patrolmen who had agreed to accompany him canceled at the last minute.

"They were totally silenced directly from superiors in Washington who do not want people to know how it is on the border, every bit as bad as Mr. Trump has been saying," a statement from the real estate magnate's campaign said.

Local Democratic State Senator Judith Zafferini took exception to Trump's "vitriolic rhetoric," stating emphatically that the "the border is not a dangerous war zone…Laredo and El Paso have been ranked among the safest cities in the country."

Though immigration remains a hot topic in US political discourse, both legal and illegal immigration from Mexico, which peaked in 2003, has fallen by more than half in the twelve years since according to a study published b the University of New Hampshire on Wednesday.

es/bw (AP, Reuters)

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