Biden Makes His First Presidential Trip To The Heavily Guarded Southern Border: On Sunday, President Joe Biden made his first trip to the US-Mexico border as president. Despite visiting a migrant respite center, he did not appear to encounter or interact with any migrants.
In response to mounting complaints and criticism that he had not yet witnessed the catastrophe brought on by the record number of migrants making the perilous route to the border, Biden spent several hours in El Paso during his first trip to the southern border as president.
But it seems like the focus of that little trip was mainly on talking with border patrol agents and discussing enforcement-related matters. Neither during the president’s visit to the respite facility nor throughout the afternoon’s motorcade routes were any migrants visible to reporters on the ground.
A senior administration official responded to CNN’s question about why Biden visited this particular location but did not meet or converse with any migrants there by saying, “There just weren’t any at the center when he arrived. coincidence in every way. Today, they haven’t had any.
The timing of Biden’s trip coincided with a sharp decline in border crossings in El Paso. Nevertheless, hundreds of migrants, including children, were living on the streets after entering the country through El Paso, according to a report by CNN’s Rosa Flores on Sunday.
According to the City of El Paso’s migrant dashboard, there were also close to 1,000 extra migrants in federal custody at detention facilities in El Paso on Sunday.
Hand-delivered a letter to President Biden today during his first visit to the border.
His trip is $20 billion too little & 2 years too late.
I’m calling on Biden to do his constitutional duty to protect our nation. pic.twitter.com/cy8xgh5EJ2
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 8, 2023
Republicans who felt the trip was overdue made repeated appeals to make the trip. Biden has come under fire from Republicans as well as a few border-district Democrats in Congress and even Democratic mayors for neglecting to address the record number of border crossings.
The president’s convoy arrived and proceeded down a road that ran parallel to the Rio Grande and the border. As the motorcade descended the roadway, on the left was an iron fence with barbed wire at the top.
After a brief stop, Biden chatted with cops wearing green uniforms while standing for a while alongside the iron fence separating the US from Mexico. The party then proceeded to stroll alongside the fence’s adjacent gravel road.
When asked a few questions by reporters, Biden replied that the government will supply all the resources need at the border.
Then he went to a facility that processed migrants, although he didn’t appear to meet any migrants there. Instead, he spoke with several different facility employees about the work that was being done there.
Biden shook hands with everyone present and engaged in private conversation, which reporters were unable to hear. Then Biden saw the packs handed to migrants that included socks, toothpaste, and soap.
While trying to speak, he asked if he could wave a magic wand to help the groups. When asked what they would need, the answer seemed to be funding.
A Political Weakness
After urging Congress to reform the US immigration system to fit current demands, Biden made a point of addressing a problem that has been a political liability for his administration during his visit to El Paso, Texas, on Sunday.
But the administration’s hodgepodge of border management measures has frequently put Biden at odds with his own allies, who claim that the administration’s strategy relies too much on enforcement.
In response to the most recent policy pronouncements, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus told CNN that it was “enraging and sad to see a Democratic administration making it tougher for vulnerable people to seek refuge all because they’re terrified of furious MAGA voters on this subject.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a steadfast opponent of Biden and his administration for the federal response to migration on the US southern border, met the president as he was taking off. The Republican governor acknowledged to reporters that he wrote Biden a letter explaining the border situation, which he referred to as being in “chaos.”
In the letter, which the governor’s office has posted online, Abbott reiterates his earlier criticisms, calls on Biden to visit other border towns and offers five recommendations for the Biden administration. The White House has been contacted by CNN for comment on the letter. According to Biden, he hasn’t read the letter yet.
Escobar, a representative for El Paso, maintained that Biden’s trip to the city would not just be an excuse for the president to pose for pictures.
She stated in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, “We’ve worked with the White House to make sure that all the people who are actually doing the work on the ground day-to-day are the ones that the president will meet with. “He needs to learn about how the challenges our nation has experienced around immigration and border issues have risen dramatically over time.”
She attributed the increase in border crossings to the Trump administration’s Title 42 public health regulation. The ban enables the federal government to easily deport immigrants while claiming the Covid-19 outbreak.
Escobar anticipated that the government would eventually move toward the harsh Title 8, which enables US authorities to process and expel migrants who do not have a legal basis to be in the country, based on her talks with Department of Homeland Security officials.
“All of these executive branch initiatives are basically simply stopgap fixes. We must ensure that Congress takes action, whether it be in response to Title 8 or Title 42, she stated. “The administration has very few options at its disposal in the absence of any legislation from Congress.”
A Pressing Issue
Biden has faced a pressing dilemma as a result of the widespread migration across the Western Hemisphere. During his first few months in office, he dealt with a surge of unaccompanied migrant children at the border as well as the sudden arrival of thousands of Haitian migrants.
According to figures from US Customs and Border Protection, there have been more over 2.4 million arrests along the US-Mexico border since 2021. That includes individuals who have repeatedly attempted to cross. Additionally, many have been denied entry due to Title 42.
The influx of thousands of migrants has put a burden on border towns like El Paso. Although the city has long taken pride in being a friendly destination for immigrants, the unexpected influx of thousands of newcomers has overloaded local resources and prompted appeals for federal assistance.
Thousands of migrants have turned themselves into border police or entered the country illegally in recent weeks due to anxiety over the expected termination of Title 42.
Last month, the policy was supposed to end, but a Supreme Court decision extended its duration while legal challenges are being resolved.
According to federal data provided to CNN, the number of migrants passing through El Paso has substantially decreased since December, when thousands were doing so every day.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, there have been less than 700 daily interactions on average during the past several days, down from roughly 2,500 at its peak in December.
In December, according to DHS, 100 more employees were sent to the El Paso area, and this week, a new temporary facility for the processing of migrants will be opened. According to DHS, fewer migrants are using the shelters in Juarez, Mexico, which is just over the border from El Paso.
Prior to going to the border, Biden stated that he wanted to wait until he knew how the Title 42 legal maneuvers would turn out. He also charged Republicans who wanted him to go there of playing political games.
They haven’t taken this seriously at all, he claimed.
Center Of The Discussion
Since the Trump administration implemented the divisive family separation policy in the area and brought it to El Paso, the city has been the focus of the immigration discussion.
Biden has criticized the immigration practices of the Trump administration, but his own administration has struggled to strike a balance between enforcement and keeping its humanitarian obligations.
As the administration works to stop the tide of mass migration in the hemisphere, Biden was confronted in El Paso with both the history of his predecessor and the difficulties he faces.
In terms of migrant arrests, the El Paso region has recently surpassed the Rio Grande Valley region. One of the busiest sectors for border crossings historically has been RGV. The 268 miles of the international border that the El Paso sector patrols.
According to the most recent data from US Customs and Border Protection, border agents in the El Paso sector encountered more than 53,000 migrants in November.
Following in the footsteps of Republican governors, El Paso, whose mayor, Leeser, is a Democrat, started sending migrant buses to New York City last year in an effort to transport migrants to their destinations and relieve congestion in the city. Since then, that endeavor has ended.
Biden Tries Out A Different Strategy
The administration also disclosed intentions to broaden the policy to encompass Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Cubans while it is still in effect prior to Biden’s border visit. Up until now, most migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Venezuela have been covered by Title 42.
The pronouncements made by Biden on Thursday are a reflection of the administration’s efforts to set up programs to deal with the boom in immigration that has occurred in tandem with the anticipated repeal of Title 42 and to get ready for its demise.
Under a humanitarian parole program targeted at people from Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti, and Venezuela, the administration will now take in up to 30,000 migrants from those countries each month. People who don’t enter the country through that scheme risk being sent back to Mexico under Title 42.
Democrats and immigrant advocates who believe the policies will endanger individuals who are looking for asylum criticized the decision.
According to Dylan Corbett, executive director of Hope Border Institute, “the expansion of Title 42 to cover Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans is a failed promise.” The Hope Border Institute has been helping newly arrived migrants in El Paso.
He said, “Border communities will continue to work hard to pick up the broken pieces of our country’s immigration system and demonstrate that our future lies not with expulsion and deportation, but with humanity and hope.
In a call on Thursday, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus quizzed senior Biden officials regarding the recently announced border policies, including Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, according to two people present.
According to the sources, members were disappointed by the lack of involvement before the introduction of the new policies and were surprised by the new policies.
One insider described the situation as “heated,” adding that the members were “furious” that the administration had not consulted them beforehand. In the conversation were representatives from the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.
A new asylum rule that might prevent migrants from requesting asylum in the United States if they traveled through another nation en route to the US-Mexico border was one of the causes of stress during the call. Although officials have disputed the comparison, the restrictions are similar to those implemented under the Trump administration.
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