Biden visits US-Mexico border as immigration issue heats up
EL PASO, Texas – President Joe Biden visited the US–Mexico border on Sunday for the primary time since taking workplace, tackling one of the politically charged issues within the nation as he prepares for a re-election bid.
Accompanied by Border Patrol brokers, Mr. Biden toured a piece of the wall that divides the 2 international locations, a signature precedence of his Republican predecessor Donald Trump, in an effort to exhibit that he was taking the issue significantly.
Mr. Biden on Thursday mentioned his administration would tighten immigration enforcement by blocking Cuban, Haitian and Nicaraguan migrants on the border, increasing the nationalities of those that may be expelled again to Mexico.
However that has not impressed Republicans like Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who accused him of failing to implement immigration legal guidelines.
“You have violated your constitutional obligation to defend the States against invasion through faithful execution of federal laws,” Mr. Abbott, a attainable 2024 presidential candidate, wrote in a letter he handed to Mr. Biden upon his arrival within the state.
Mr. Biden instructed reporters he had not but learn the letter.
Joined by Secretary of Homeland Safety Alejandro Mayorkas, the president additionally visited the Bridge of the Americas, which connects the US and Mexico, and considered tools that border officers use to detect unlawful drugs.
Mr. Biden hopes to strengthen relations with Border Patrol brokers, a few of whom have bristled on the rollback of hardline enforcement policies by the White Home.
The long-term aim of Congress reforming America’s creaky immigration system is unlikely to succeed given Republicans’ newly assumed management of the US Home of Representatives.
Proper-wing lawmakers have repeatedly torpedoed US immigration reform proposals over the previous 20 years.
Mr. Biden despatched Congress an immigration reform plan on his first day in workplace two years in the past, however it floundered because of opposition from Republicans, who additionally blocked his request for $3.5 billion to beef up border enforcement.
Republicans are pushing their very own plans for the border after securing a slender majority within the Home of Representatives within the 2022 midterm elections.
Republican US Consultant Jim Jordan instructed Fox Information that Biden ought to undertake the zero-tolerance insurance policies pursued by Mr. Trump, which included separating youngsters from their migrant mother and father.
“They’ve allowed now a situation where frankly, we no longer have a border,” Mr. Jordan mentioned.
Mr. Mayorkas on Sunday mentioned worldwide crises and legislative gridlock restricted Biden‘s capability to scale back the variety of migrants making their strategy to the US.
“We’re just dealing with a broken system,” Mr. Mayorkas instructed reporters aboard Air Power One on the best way to Texas.
El Paso’s Democratic mayor declared a state of emergency final month, citing a whole lot of migrants’ sleeping on the streets in chilly temperatures and hundreds being apprehended each day.
US border officers apprehended a record 2.2 million migrants on the border with Mexico within the 2022 fiscal 12 months that led to September, although that quantity consists of people who tried to cross a number of instances.
On the similar time as he expanded his authority to expel migrants, Mr. Biden on Thursday opened authorized, restricted pathways into the nation for Cubans, Nicaraguans and Haitians – permitting up to 30,000 folks from these three international locations plus Venezuela to enter the nation by air every month.
Whereas successful reward from some US business groups determined to unravel urgent labor shortages, Mr. Biden‘s moves have drawn criticism from human rights activists and some Democrats who say the new restrictions are a retreat from the president’s 2020 campaign promise to revive historic rights to asylum-seekers.
Mr. Mayorkas rejected the concept that Biden was reviving Trump-era clampdowns.
“It is not a ban at all,” he mentioned. “It is markedly different than what the Trump administration proposed.”
On the bottom in El Paso, migrants greeted the brand new coverage with trepidation.
David Guillen, 43, requested Mr. Biden to forgive him and fellow Venezuelan migrants who entered the nation illegally, a lot of whom at the moment are sleeping outside a church in El Paso, scared of being arrested and deported in the event that they try and journey to a different metropolis.
“We made a mistake … but not a bad mistake. It’s just that we want a better life,” he mentioned.
After the El Paso go to, Mr. Biden took Air Power One south to an airport close to Mexico Metropolis, the place he was greeted by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Biden, Lopez Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will maintain a three day summit starting Monday on vitality, financial cooperation, immigration and drug trafficking, particularly fentanyl.
Biden and his Mexican counterpart spoke briefly on the airport, with out giving any assertion to the press.
Individuals give Biden failing grades on immigration coverage, polls present.
A median of polls gathered by Actual Clear Politics exhibits 37% of the general public disapprove of Biden‘s dealing with of immigration, a quantity decrease than his general approval score.
“Fundamentally we have to fix the system,” Mayorkas instructed reporters. – Reuters