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26 Feb, 2024 20:20

Biden and Trump to visit Mexican border on same day

The current and former US presidents will get an up-close look at a crisis that may sway this year’s election
Biden and Trump to visit Mexican border on same day

US President Joe Biden will get a firsthand look at America’s illegal immigration crisis, his administration has revealed, when he travels to the nation’s southwest border on the same day his Republican rival Donald Trump will visit the region.

Biden will go to Brownsville, Texas, on Thursday to meet with US Border Patrol agents, law enforcement officials, and local government leaders, the White House said on Monday in a statement. The trip will mark Biden’s first visit to the porous border in more than a year and the second since he took office in January 2021.

Trump, the leading Republican candidate to challenge Biden in this year’s US presidential election, is scheduled to visit another border hot spot, Eagle Pass, Texas, on the same day. The former president has accused Biden of destroying America by dismantling  border-security measures and opening the country to record inflows of illegal aliens, drugs, and suspected terrorists.

“With four more years of Biden, the hordes of illegal aliens stampeding across our borders will exceed 40 to 50 million people,” Trump said at a political conference on Saturday. “Medicare, Social Security, health care and public education will buckle and collapse. It will collapse.”

With polls suggesting political backlash over Biden’s handling of border issues heading into the November election, the president has switched in recent weeks from denying that a crisis exists to blaming Republican lawmakers for the problem. Biden signed multiple executive orders on his first day in office reversing the new border-security measures imposed during Trump’s term. His administration also temporarily halted deportations of illegal migrants and canceled construction of a border wall.

US Border Patrol agents encountered nearly 2.5 million illegal aliens in the government’s latest fiscal year, which ended on September 30, compared with just 458,000 during Trump’s last full fiscal year in office. Those figures do not include millions of so-called ‘gotaways’ who crossed into the country without being confronted by federal agents.

An unidentified White House official told reporters on Monday that during his Texas trip, Biden will discuss the “urgent need” for Congress to approve border measures that his administration negotiated with Senate Republicans.

Rep. Bob Good (R-Virginia), said Biden is only seeking “political cover” for his intentional sabotage of border security. “He has the power to reverse his policies and enforce the law, but he won’t so he can continue to try and blame Republicans,” the lawmaker said.