The president wrapped up his tenure where he began, speaking to the promise he made to the American people to build the wall. He delivered the speech in Alamo, Texas near mile 450 of the wall. While not the actual site of the historic Catholic mission in San Antonio, Texas, the site of the speech nonetheless conjured up the fighting spirit of the famous Battle of the Alamo that occurred almost 200 years ago.
Trump delivered the address to border agents whom he called "the courageous men and women of Customs and Border Patrol." MAGA supporters were not in attendance, making it difficult, observers noted, for enemies of the MAGA movement to create a false flag event.
"We're joined together to celebrate a great achievement: The extraordinarily successful building of the wall on the southern border," he began.
But the president momentarily interrupted his celebratory remarks to comment on recent attacks on free speech as well as the looming threat of the entrenched Washington elite to invoke the 25th Amendment against him.
"Before we begin, I'd like to say that free speech is under assault like never before. The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes: Be careful what you wish for," he warned.
And comments that spoke to the political hell he has endured throughout his tenure, he said:
The impeachment hoax is a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country, and it is causing tremendous anger and division and pain — far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the USA, especially at this very tender time.
The bulk of the president's address, however, spoke to the benefits of the border wall.
"Working alongside the heroes in this great outdoor space, looking at our wall," Trump reflected, "we reformed our immigration system and achieved the most secure southern border in U.S. history. It is at a level that it's never been before."
"We took on the cartels, the coyotes and the special interests, and we restored the rule of law," he asserted.
Trump noted that "illegal crossings and drug smuggling have plummeted. ... In the Rio Grande Valley, crossings have dropped nearly 80%. In Yuma, Arizona, illegal entries have been slashed by 90%."
"Nationwide, ICE and Border Patrol have seized over 2 million pounds of fentanyl, heroin, meth and other deadly narcotics, saving thousands and thousands of lives," added the president.
"We've arrested nearly 500,000 illegal aliens with criminal records — some with very serious criminal records of the type you don't want to know about, like murder," he continued. "We removed nearly 20,000 gang members from the United States, including 4,500 members of MS-13 — probably the worst gang of them all."
"Our most important reform was ending catch and release — not easy to do; you're dealing with Congress; it's very, very difficult — which is the functional equivalent of open borders, but even worse: It's catch and release them. It means release into our country, not into another country," he emphasized.
Trump set special time aside for a few call-outs to leaders in the build-the-wall effort.
He thanked "a tremendous gentleman, a friend of mine, Tom Homan. He's a great American patriot, and he was with us right from the beginning."
"I want to thank Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Mark Morgan, who's been incredible," Trump lauded. "And most importantly, the brave law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to protect our families and our country."
Putting the country on notice regarding the dangers of unraveling the progress his administration has made on border protection, the president said, "A recent comprehensive report by the Department of Homeland Security and Justice shows how effective our reforms have been and how disastrous their removal would be. It would be a disaster for our country. I know [Congress is] thinking about removing them. I hope they don't do that."
"It'll be an absolute travesty for our country," he warned.
The president foregrounded the need for healing and peace as well as for law and order:
Now is the time for our nation to heal, and it's time for peace and for calm. Respect for law enforcement and the great people within law enforcement — so many are here — is the foundation of the MAGA agenda. And we're a nation of law, and we're a nation of order. That is why we're here today, to talk about what we must do to uphold the rule of law in America and how we must continue to support our law enforcement heroes, which is exactly what you are. Do you feel like a hero? Yeah, I think you do. Right? You do and you are.
And he ended in a rousing thank-you to border protection agents: "To the men and women of ICE, customs and border protection, and all across DHS — law enforcement in general — you have earned the everlasting gratitude of our nation." The president continued: "You have no idea how much our nation loves you and respects you. ... I only hope and pray that your voice will be heard, honored, heeded and respected long into the future."
"God bless you, God bless law enforcement and God bless America," he concluded.