WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is going US-Mexico border On Sunday, his first visit as president came after two years of hounding by Republicans who hammered him as soft on border security Whereas Number of migrants crossing the spiral.
Biden is going to spend a few hours inside El Paso, Texasin present Largest corridor for illegal crossing, due in large part to Nicaraguans fleeing oppression, crime, and poverty in their home country. They are among migrants from four countries now subject to accelerated expulsion New rules made by the Biden administration in the last week.
The President is expected to meet with border officials to discuss migration as well as increased smuggling Fentanyl and other synthetic opioidsthat’s driving the skyrocketing number of overdoses in America
Biden will visit the El Paso County Immigrant Services Center and meet with nonprofits and faith groups that support immigrants coming to America. It is unclear whether Biden will speak to any migrants.
“The president himself is looking forward to seeing what the border security situation looks like,” said John Kirby, a White House national security spokesman. “It’s something he wanted to see for himself.”
Biden’s announcement on border security and his visit to the border are aimed at reducing political noise and blunting the impact of upcoming investigations into immigration promised by House Republicans. But any lasting solution will require action by an increasingly divided Congress, where several attempts in recent years to enact sweeping changes have failed.
Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Cornyn of Texas offered little praise for Biden’s decision to go to the border, and even that was notable in the current political climate.
“They should take the time to learn from some of the experts, including local officials and law enforcement, landowners, nonprofits, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agents, and those who make their livelihoods in border communities. The front lines of their crisis,” Cornyn said.
From El Paso, Biden will continue south to Mexico City, where he and the leaders of Mexico and Canada will gather on Monday and Tuesday for the North American Leaders’ Summit. Immigration is among the items on the agenda.
In El Paso, where migrants congregate at bus stops and parks before making the trip, Border Patrol agents have increased security ahead of Biden’s visit.
“I think they’re trying to send a message that they’re going to be checking people’s documented status more consistently, and if you’re not processed they’re going to take you,” Annunciation House Support Group said Ruben Garcia of El Paso.
Migrants and asylum seekers fleeing violence and persecution have increasingly found that safety in the United States is primarily available to those who have the money or the financial savvy to find someone to provide for them.
Jose Natera, a Venezuelan migrant in El Paso who hopes to seek asylum in Canada, said he has no prospects of finding a US sponsor and is now reluctant to seek asylum in the US because he fears being deported to Mexico Is.
Mexico is “a terrible country with crime, corruption, cartels and even the police come after you,” he said. “They say people who think of entering illegally won’t have a chance, but at the same time I don’t have a sponsor. … I came to this country to work. I didn’t come here to play.”
The number of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border has increased dramatically during Biden’s first two years in office. There were more than 2.38 million stops during the year ended September 30, the first time the number topped 2 million. The administration has struggled to crack down on the crossings, reluctant to take similar tough measures as the Trump administration.
The policy changes, announced last week, are Biden’s biggest move yet to crack down on illegal border crossings and will turn away thousands of migrants coming to the border. And 30,000 migrants per month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela will have a chance to come to the US legally as long as they travel by plane, get a sponsor and pass a background check.
The US will also turn back migrants who do not seek asylum first in the country from which they traveled via the US
The changes were welcomed by some, especially leaders in cities where the influx of migrants has been concentrated. But Biden was vilified by immigrant advocate groups, who accused him of following the former president’s measures.
“I take issue with Donald Trump comparing us,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, pointing to some of his most malign policies, including separating migrant children from their parents.
“It’s not that president,” she said.
For all his international travel in his more than 50 years in public service, Biden hasn’t spent much time at the US-Mexico border.
The only trip the White House can point to was Biden’s drive in 2008 while campaigning for the presidency. he sent Vice President Kamala Harris to El Paso in 2021But he was criticized for bypassing the massive action, as El Paso was not the center of the crossing that it is now.
President Barack Obama visits El Paso in 2011where he visited border operations and the Paso del Norte international bridge, but was later criticized for not returning as tens of thousands of minors entered the US from Mexico.
Trump, who has made tough immigration a signature issue, has made several trips to the border. During one trip, he stopped at a small border station to inspect cash and drugs seized by agents. While traveling to McAllen, TexasThen the center of a growing crisis, he made one of his most oft-repeated claims, that Mexico would pay to build a border wall.
“No,” then-President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted in May 2018. “Mexico will never pay for the wall. Not now, never. Yours faithfully, Mexico (all of us).”
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