Biden inspects busy port of entry along US-Mexico border

EL PASO, Texas (AP) – President Joe Biden inspected a busy port of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border Sunday on his first trip to the region after two years in office, a visit overshadowed by the fraught politics of immigration. and Republicans want to do. to blame him for the greater number of migrants crossing into the country.

At his first stop, the president watched as border officials in El Paso demonstrated how they search vehicles for drugs, money and other contraband. As a sign of the deep tension regarding immigration, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, wrote a letter to Biden when he arrived in the state that said the “chaos” at the border was a “direct result” of the President’s failure to enforce it. federal laws.

Just feet from Mexican soil, Biden asked how quickly it was necessary for border officials to find migrants being smuggled in a vehicle before the people run out of oxygen. He asked about fentanyl seizures, an opioid that can be 50 times as powerful as the same amount of heroin. While touring the facility, a large sign that said, “Bienvenido a Mexico,” or welcome to Mexico, hung over the Bridge of the Americas.

Immigration has been a serious point of conflict for years, exposing the dysfunction of the US system as well as the turmoil within migrants’ home countries that has pushed many to flee. Administration officials have tried to counter Republican criticism by saying Congress should work with them to increase border security funding and reform immigration policy.

Biden had only spent a few hours in the citywhich is currently the biggest corridor for illegal crossings, mainly due to Nicaraguans fleeing oppression, crime and poverty in their country. They are among migrants from four countries now subject to expedited deportation under new rules enacted by the Biden administration. in the past week has drawn strong criticism from immigration advocates.

Also Read :  Donald Trump hits the trail in New Hampshire and South Carolina as he looks to rejuvenate 2024 campaign

The president was also scheduled to visit the El Paso County Immigrant Services Center and meet with nonprofit and religious groups that support immigrants coming to the U.S. It was unclear if he would speak with any immigrants.

Biden’s announcement on border security and his visit to the border are aimed in part at dampening the political noise and the impact of the upcoming immigration investigations that House Republicans have promised. But any lasting solution will require action from a deeply divided Congress, where numerous attempts to enact major changes in recent years have failed.

From El Paso, Biden was to continue south to Mexico City, where he will gather with the leaders of Mexico and Canada Monday and Tuesday for the summit of North American leaders. Immigration is among the items on the agenda.

In El Paso, where migrants meet at bus stops and in parks before moving on, border patrol agents have stepped up security ahead of Biden’s visit.

“I think they’re trying to send a message that they’re going to check people’s documentation status more consistently, and if you’re not processed they’re going to pick you up,” said Ruben Garcia of the Annunciation House aid group. El Paso.

Migrants and asylum seekers fleeing violence and persecution have increasingly discovered that protections in the United States are available primarily to those who have money or the desire to find someone to provide them with financial assurance.

Venezuelan immigrant Jose Castillo, who said he traveled without family members for five months from his home on Margarita Island to arrive in El Paso on Dec. 29, said he hoped Biden would “take us into account as people we are human.”

Also Read :  Will Voters Stick With Biden's Outlook For America, Or Take It In A Different Direction?

He was among a group of about 30 migrants who gathered for prayers on Sunday morning outside the Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart where many of the new people are camping.

“We have suffered a lot since entering the Darien Gap jungle and passing through Mexico. It was all battle, battle, battle,” Castillo said. “I know we’re here illegally, but please give us a chance.”

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 ending September 30, the first time the number has exceeded 2 million. The administration has struggled to put pressure on intersections, reluctant to take hard-line measures similar to those of former President Donald Trump’s administration.

The policy changes announced last week are Biden’s biggest move yet to contain illegal border crossings and will turn away thousands of migrants arriving at the border. At the same time, 30,000 migrants a month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela will have the opportunity to come to the US legally as long as they travel by plane, get a sponsor and pass background checks.

The US will also turn migrants who do not first seek asylum in a country they traveled through on the way to the US -scheduled date and time.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters aboard Air Force One that the administration wants to “incentivize a safe and orderly route and cut out the smuggling organizations,” saying the policies are “not a deterrent at all” but a migrant effort be protected from the trauma that smuggling can cause.

Also Read :  Poland, NATO say missile strike wasn't a Russian attack

The changes were welcomed by some, especially leaders in cities where immigrants are on the rise. But Biden was excoriated by immigrant advocate groups, who accused him of taking actions based on the former president’s actions. Administration officials disputed that characterization.

For all his international travel over his 50 years in public service, Biden has spent little time at the US-Mexico border.

The only visit the White House could signal was Biden’s drive along the border while campaigning for president in 2008. He sent Vice President Kamala Harris to El Paso in 2021.but she was criticized for avoiding the action for the most part, because El Paso was not in the middle of the crossings as it is now.

President Barack Obama made a trip to El Paso in 2011where he toured border operations and the Paso Del Norte international bridge, but was later criticized for not going back when thousands of unaccompanied minors entered the United States from Mexico.

Trump has repeatedly traveled to the border, which has made tough immigration a signature issue. During one visit, we entered a small border station to inspect cash and drugs confiscated by agents. During a trip to McAllen, Texasthen in the middle of the growing crisis, he made one of his most frequent demands, that Mexico pay to build a border wall.

American taxpayers the base of the bill ended up after Mexican leaders flatly refused the idea.


Associated Press writers Andres Leighton in El Paso, Texas, Morgan Lee in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Josh Boak in Washington contributed to this report.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button