When Donald J. Trump takes the oath of office at noon Friday in Washington, D.C., and becomes the 45th president of the United States, at least two Rio Grande Valley residents will be there.
McAllen resident Hilda Garza DeShazo, a former member of the McAllen Independent School District board of trustees and a Republican delegate, will attend the inauguration.
“It’s an honor to go,” DeShazo said. “I’m going as a delegate and I’m going to partake in the essence of the whole thing.”
She automatically received an invitation to the inauguration after attending the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, as a Texas delegate.
“I’m really excited about it,” DeShazo said. “I mean, regardless of what people think of our president-elect, I think it’s an iconic inauguration. I think it’s a historical event.”
Also attending will be Chris Cabrera, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council’s Local 3377 of the Rio Grande Valley sector and national spokesman for the Border Patrol.
Cabrera has been working with Trump on immigration and other border-related issues. He, along with other Border Patrol representatives, received an invitation to the inauguration.
“It’s my first time going to an inauguration and regardless of where you stand politically, it’s history,” he said. “I’m real excited about going. I know that there weren’t a lot of Trump supporters in the Rio Grande Valley … but I was a big supporter from the beginning because of his stance on law enforcement.”
Cabrera looks forward to the inauguration. He and his family will attend the historic event and is excited about sightseeing.
“Washington, D.C., is history all in itself,” Cabrera said. “I look forward to sharing that with my young son and showing him all the different monuments and memorials. It’s a classroom all by itself.”
Trump, 70, is the oldest and possibly wealthiest person to be elected president. He is a businessman, author, former host of NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice,” and has quickly become an American politician.
After announcing his candidacy on June 16, 2015, in New York City, he quickly gained followers who shared his views on illegal immigration, the trade deficit, the national debt and terrorism.
Although he gained millions of supporters during the presidential election campaign, Trump continuously received criticism for his unorthodox behavior from people in the United States and around the world, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, who found his comments “unacceptable” after a scandalous tape emerged of Trump saying, “Grab them by the p****.”
Although May found his comments offensive, the Independent, a British online newspaper, quoted the prime minister as saying she is willing to work with Trump.
“The relationship that the U.K. has with the United States is about something much bigger than the relationship between the two individuals,” May told the Independent last Tuesday. “I’ve had two very good, positive conversations with Donald Trump already. … [This] relationship will benefit both the U.S. and the U.K.”
Though many thought that he would lose to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, he won the election with his slogan, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.” His business background and “I-won’t-take-no-for-an-answer” attitude, could potentially win over those who voted against him.
Sergio Sanchez, chairman of the Hidalgo County Republican Party, will not attend the inauguration but said he hopes that once Trump takes office, he will bring a more determined focus on border security, illegal immigration and try to fix the broken visa system.
“I also hope that the Obamacare gets replaced,” said Sanchez, program director at KURV-AM 710. “My dream would be that they didn’t put any caps so it allows families to receive those benefits and incentivize the market to open up more clinics.”
He said people don’t need to be taxed more to create a health care district, which Hidalgo County voters rejected in the Nov. 8 election. Instead, the government should be smarter on how it spends the tax money.
“Perhaps, since this is a business guy who is taking over the White House, somebody needs to get to him and incentivize these doctors to open their own wallets to create some cash clinics and 24-hour care clinics that are affordable,” Sanchez said.
He expressed his concern for Rio Grande Valley residents and how doctors could make the investment to open affordable cash clinics for the public so they are not charged “an arm and a leg for scrapes and bruises” in an emergency room.
“We need business-type ideas,” he said. “The government cannot and should not be burdened with solving everything. We need some real ideas up there.”
Jose Garcia, a political science senior and president of the Young Republicans at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, said he planned to attend, but because of his class schedule, he would not be going to the inauguration.
“[The Young Republicans] are excited to see what 2017 and what these next four years have in store for the country,” Garcia said. “We hope that the Congress and the president will be able to pass legislation that will benefit the entire country.”
Trump lost the popular vote in the election by more than 2 million votes, but became the president-elect due to the country’s unique Electoral College.