Donald Trump visits El Paso today – and it won’t be an easy trip for the president or for the people of this border city.

As the US leader, he is expected to honour the dead and console their families.

READ  British ski instructor jailed for 10 years after raping woman in Australia | UK News, Reports

But some of them have made clear they don’t want him here.

Mr Trump isn’t seen as a passive player in this story and many I’ve met blame him for encouraging a culture of hate in America by talking and inciting violence.

Like the alleged gunman reportedly wrote, Mr Trump has talked about “an invasion” of people, and today many in the community will take to the streets to protest his presence.

READ  Donald Trump: China and Russia 'very excited' about proposed new nuclear pact | World News, Reports

Republican Mayor Dee Margo is keenly aware of how angry some in his city are about the president’s trip.

But he also believes he has a duty.

“My primary purpose is to occupy the office of mayor,” he told me.

READ  'I'm going to Ibiza!': Roberto Bautista Agut jets off on delayed stag do after reaching Wimbledon semi-final | World News, Reports

“He is the president and his own personal decision to come here. I will try to comport myself, I have been on the receiving end of his rhetoric. We said Sunday night at our inter-denominational services that we will confront hate with love.”

Donald Trump is set to be met with protests during his visit to the border city of El Paso
Donald Trump is set to be met with protests during his visit to the border city of El Paso

El Paso teenager remembered

Victim’s father: My son always had a smile on him

It’s been an exhausting few days for the mayor, a man who is deeply proud of the diversity and the shared heritage and culture of his city, where Spanish and English are spoken interchangeably and hundreds of people cross the border every day to work and socialise.

He wants the president to hear that today.

“Maybe there’s a chance we can make sure he’s properly informed about our region,” he says.

He has his own haunting memories to bear of the past few days.

As a grandfather there was one moment that hit him especially hard.

“On Sunday I was in the hospital visiting a little ten-month-old boy whose mother died protecting him and while we were there his grandfather was notified his son, the boy’s father, had died.”

Donald Trump speaks to reporters following the Ohio and Texas shootings
Donald Trump has spoken of “an invasion” of people into the US

His eyes water and his voice breaks as he says: “That’s what really got me. But then the flip side of that was we went to a blood service and there were people who had been there for seven hours waiting to give blood. That’s El Paso and that’s what I want people to understand.”

Across town, I meet Stephanie Melendez who is also struggling with the gravity of grief.

Her father David Johnson died while shielding his wife and Stephanie’s nine-year-old daughter Kaitlin.

She says her mother called her whilst cowering under the checkout.

Ms Melendez said: “I can’t even process it… they were at the checkout with their basket full… he jumped in front and pushed them underneath the conveyor and shielded them.”

A gunman can be seen entering the El Paso store before opening fire on Saturday

White men are responsible for more mass shootings in the US than any other race

White males are responsible for the majority of mass shootings in the US – but why do they resort to such terrible violence?

She added that the phone call will never leave her, and continued: “Those screams will stay with me because I wasn’t there and she was asking for me and if I was going to pick her up and she just wanted to go home.

“They will haunt me for the rest of my days and I know my mum will say she will remember those visions right before.

“I just can’t believe those are going to be the last memories she has of my dad.”

At a nearby church, her daughter Kaitlin plays with a service dog, brought here to comfort the survivors.

She is excited, smiling widely as she pets them.

It is a relieving picture of innocence for a young girl who has seen the very worst of humanity.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here