Donald Trump will head to the U.S.-Mexico border this week, most likely on Thursday, traveling to Laredo, Texas to tour the border with a group of U.S. border patrol agents.
Trump has hammered illegal immigration in interviews and stump speeches since he launched his Republican presidential campaign, when he referred broadly to Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists.
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski confirmed to CNN on Wednesday morning the trip to the border, saying it's "99%" sure the visit will take place on Thursday, but there are "a few more details to finalize."
The trip comes after a local chapter of the National Border Patrol Council, the agency's union, invited Trump earlier this month to tour one of the most active parts of the border with the agents who work there.
Hector Garza, the president of the chapter, told CNN earlier this month that he wanted "to give Donald Trump a state of the border" and a "boots on the ground perspective."
Garza, a border patrol agent, said his invitation was not an endorsement of Trump's presidential run, saying that his group regularly invites politicians -- including previous tours with GOP Reps. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Blake Farenthold of Texas.
He also invited Sen. Ted Cruz, who is also vying for the Republican presidential nomination, last month.
Garza said his organization's only goal is to encourage policies that will lead to a strong border and a safer environment for his fellow agents. The Laredo chapter is one of the largest in the country, Garza said, representing about 1,400 border patrol agents.
While he would not comment on Trump's controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants, Garza said agents posted near Laredo "do see a lot of aliens with a criminal history," and said that while not all are criminals, a "large number" have criminal backgrounds.
Trump first told CNN he had been invited to the border by a group of border patrol agents during a phone interview two weeks ago. The visit will be Trump's fourth to the border, by his count.
"I'm the only one that speaks their language," he said.