Acting DHS chief to attend memorial for El Paso shooting victims

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan on Wednesday will attend a memorial service for victims of a recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.

The Community Memorial Service event is being hosted by the city of El Paso as a reflection on the Aug. 3 massacre that left more than 20 people dead, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement.

The mayors of El Paso and the nearby Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez are expected to speak at Wednesday night’s vigil.

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On Thursday, McAleenan will meet with leadership of an unspecified non-governmental organization in the area and will receive a tour of a U.S. Border Patrol facility based in El Paso, DHS said.

The service comes a little more than a week after a gunman opened fire in an El Paso Walmart on Aug. 3, killing 22 people and injuring dozens more. The suspected gunman allegedly published an anti-immigrant manifesto before carrying out the shooting that referenced an “invasion” of Latinos. El Paso is a predominantly Latino city.

The alleged shooter later told authorities that he was targeting “Mexicans” and reportedly confessed to carrying out the attack when he surrendered to law enforcement. 

The incident is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism, which falls under the purview of DHS.

Democrats have sought to tie the manifesto’s rhetoric to President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhy Republicans should think twice about increasing presidential power The opioid crisis is the challenge of this generation Flynn, Papadopoulos to speak at event preparing ‘social media warriors’ for ‘digital civil war’ MORE, who has regularly described immigrants as “thugs” and “criminals,” portrayed the influx of migrants as an “invasion” and pushed for stricter immigration laws.

Trump traveled last week to meet with first responders and victims of the shooting at an El Paso hospital. Footage later emerged of the president bragging to hospital workers about his rally crowd size, though El Paso Mayor Dee Margo (R) said Trump’s visit was “presidential.”

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