EL PASO, Texas - US President Donald Trump, whose rhetoric about an immigrant "invasion" has alienated many in the predominantly Hispanic city of El Paso, will visit the grieving Texas border town on Wednesday after a gun massacre that killed 22 people.
El Paso has been on the front lines of the Trump administration's campaign to staunch the flow of migrants over the US-Mexican border. The President in January called it one of America's "most dangerous cities" before a wall was built.
But the city's mayor, Dee Margo, and some of its residents, reeling after Saturday's rampage at a crowded Walmart store believed to have been racially motivated against Hispanics, said they would welcome the president.
"This is not a political visit," Margo said. "He is president of the United States. So, in that capacity, I will fulfill my obligations as mayor of El Paso to meet with the president and discuss whatever our needs are in this community."
Activists who gathered for a vigil for the victims on Monday evening placed some of the blame for the bloodshed on the president.
"He's complicit in this violence and all the terror that we're seeing," said Rachel Cheek, 26.
The White House on Tuesday confirmed Trump would visit El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, where nine people were killed in another shooting on Saturday night.
Trump, in a speech on Monday, said Americans must "condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy". He proposed tighter monitoring of the internet, mental health reform and wider use of the death penalty following the weekend shootings.