Biden Announces He Intends to Make His First Visit to the U.S.-Mexico Border

President Joe Biden said recently he intends to make his first visit to the U.S.-Mexico border since taking office. The visit would coincide with his meeting next week in Mexico City with leaders from Canada and Mexico.

“That’s my intention; we’re working out the details now,” said Biden to reporters during a trip to Kentucky.

Upon his return to the White House, the president said he hoped to see “what’s going on” along the border and plans to make remarks about border security. 

There has been a significant surge in the number of migrants at the border as the United States public health policy law remains in place, allowing American authorities to turn back people seeking asylum in the U.S. GOP leaders have criticized Biden for policies they say are ineffective on border security and questioning why he hasn’t already made a trip to the border. 

Immigration will be a key talking point at the summit between President Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is hosting the meeting. 

Early in Biden’s presidency, Vice President Kamala Harris was put in charge of the White House effort to work with Central American nations to address the leading causes of the problems and tackle the migration challenge. Harris last visited El Paso, Texas, in the border region in June 2021 and was blasted for choosing to travel to a location too far from ground zero of the border breeches that are straining federal resources. 

Supreme Court currently keeping Trump-era restrictions

Currently, the Supreme Court is keeping in place Trump-era restrictions, known as Title 42, after the president acted to suspend the law. Republicans have sued in response. Title 42 was implemented to prevent the spread of Covid-19. However, there has been criticism of the restrictions used by former President Donald Trump to seal off the border.

The Biden administration has not yet laid out any systemic changes to manage and control a predicted surge of migrants if and when the restrictions end. In the House, a bipartisan immigration bill was quickly buried before the GOP assumed control of the House.

The president commented about a possible upcoming visit to the border region during a stop in Kentucky, where he touted a highway bridge receiving federal funds through the bipartisan infrastructure law. 

Former President Trump visited the border several times during his tenure, including a trip to McAllen, Texas, where he claimed that Mexico would pay for the border wall. 

Taxpayer money was ultimately used to construct sections of the border wall. Enrique Pena Nieto, then president of Mexico, flatly rejected Trump’s claim saying, “No. Mexico will NEVER pay for a wall. Not now, not ever. Sincerely, Mexico (all of us).”