Biden Plans to Visit U.S.-Mexico Border
Category: News & PoliticsVia: 1stwarrior • 4 weeks ago • 17 comments
President Biden said Wednesday that he intends to visit the U.S.-Mexico border during his trip to Mexico City next week.
“We’re working out the details now,” Mr. Biden said.
The president’s comments came after The Wall Street Journal reported the White House was strongly considering adding a visit to the border to the Mexico trip, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Mr. Biden is expected to meet Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Mexico City for the North American Leaders’ Summit on Jan. 9-10.
The trip would be Mr. Biden’s first visit to the border as president. One of the people said there would be no new policy announcement at the event if it occurs.
The president also later said he would give a speech on border security Thursday.
The administration has faced bipartisan criticism for its handling of the border for the past two years. There were a record 2.2 million arrests last year by the U.S. Border Patrol of people caught crossing the southern border illegally, according to data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Parts of the southern border saw an influx of asylum seekers crossing the border illegally last month in anticipation of what was expected to be the end of the government’s use of a public-health measure called Title 42 , which allows the U.S. to expel migrants before they have a chance to ask for asylum.
The Supreme Court, however, ordered the government to keep that pandemic-era border policy in place beyond its scheduled December expiration while justices consider whether Republican-led states can intervene in a lawsuit over the restrictions.
Some immigration advisers inside and outside the administration have been wary of a presidential visit to the border, arguing that the photo-op would legitimize GOP attacks and that Democrats should be crafting their immigration messaging on their terms.
Republicans have said that a lack of a visit to the border shows the administration hasn’t been focused enough on the issue.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) told reporters that he had invited the president to visit the southern border with him during a meeting in the Oval Office with Mr. Biden and other congressional leaders after the November election. “I explained to the president what I saw…the control of our border is lost right now,” he said, adding the House GOP majority planned to launch investigations into Mr. Biden’s handling of the issue.
When asked about a potential visit to the region, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said repeatedly in a recent press briefing: “The president’s focus right now is to come up with solutions, is focused on making sure that we have the resources to manage what—the challenges that we’re seeing at the border.”
“If congressional Republicans are serious about dealing with the challenges that we’re seeing at the border, they will assist,” she said.
Mr. Biden’s visit to the border follows an earlier one by Vice President Kamala Harris , who toured a border patrol facility and a port of entry in El Paso, Texas, in June 2021 after repeated attacks from Republicans about why she hadn’t visited the region.
Ms. Harris was tapped by Mr. Biden to lead diplomatic efforts to address the root causes of migration from Central America, focusing on Mexico and the three countries known as the Northern Triangle: El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
Ms. Harris and her aides had also dismissed questions about why she hadn’t visited the border for weeks before eventually announcing the trip.