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Some Yuma officials wish Trump would have stayed longer


    President Donald Trump waves as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington to board Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. and then onto Yuma, Ariz., to visit the U.S. border with Mexico and attend a rally in Phoenix.

YUMA, Ariz. >> Some officials in the border city of Yuma, Arizona, have expressed disappointment in the brevity of President Donald Trump’s visit, which they were hoping would give the community a higher profile on the national stage.

The initial plans for Trump’s trip included a visit to the border and possible meetings with farmers and politicians, but that didn’t happen, the Yuma Sun reported earlier this week.

Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls greeted Trump when he landed on Air Force One at Marine Corps Air Station-Yuma. Nicholls was able to speak with the president for a few seconds, he said.

“It was definitely great to have him here,” Nicholls said. “It was warm, so we talked about that for a second. He’s definitely following what’s going on in Yuma. He recognized me, which was a little bit of a surprise, and the work we’ve been doing here in Yuma city government.”

Supporters and protesters gathered near the base.

Rep. Charlene Fernandez, a Yuma Democrat and minority whip of the state House of Representatives, was out of town for Trump’s visit but said she was keeping in touch with the group that organized the protest.

“I really don’t know why he stopped in Yuma,” Fernandez said. “I would have liked him to go to the border to see some of the issues that we face every day, but I want some action on it.”

Cooperation between bordering U.S. and Mexico cities is critical to the economy, she said.

Rep. Don Shooter, R-Yuma, is a longtime Trump supporter, but he headed to Oro Valley on Tuesday for the League of Arizona Cities and Towns’ annual conference to accept an award.

“I would have come if he’d have asked me,” Shooter said.

Republican County Supervisor Darren Simmons, who missed his flight to Salt Lake City due to Air Force One’s presence at the airfield, was pleased with Trump’s visit — especially the focus it brought to the collaboration between law enforcement agencies at the border.

“This is one of the few places where you can say it works, because the agencies work very well together,” Simmons said. “And everyone’s kind of against the (border) wall, but it’s really shown that it works here, in terms of decreasing illegal traffic and drugs coming across and vehicles coming across.”

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