Biden to go to southern border amid large migrant surge, heightened political strain

President Biden on Sunday will go to the embattled southern border for the primary time in his presidency, a go to that comes amid rising political strain in Washington on the problem and whereas migrant numbers stay at historic highs.

Biden will go to El Paso, Texas, which has been the epicenter of a latest spike in migrant encounters. The White Home says he’ll meet with elected native officers and neighborhood leaders whereas additionally assessing border operations. 

“I do know that migration is placing an actual pressure on the border and on border communities,” Biden mentioned Thursday.

Biden formally introduced the journey that day when he unveiled a number of border initiatives, together with an expanded humanitarian parole program for Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguans, in addition to Title 42 expulsions for these nationalities. 


President Biden speaks about border security in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Washington. Vice President Kamala Harris stands at left.  

President Biden speaks about border safety within the Roosevelt Room of the White Home Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Washington. Vice President Kamala Harris stands at left.   (AP Photograph/Patrick Semansky)

Individually, the Division of Homeland Safety introduced a transit ban that may preclude asylum claims from those that have failed to assert asylum in international locations via which they’ve traveled.

Republicans have hammered the administration over the border disaster, which has exploded underneath Biden’s watch and which they’ve attributed to the rollback of key Trump-era insurance policies such because the “Stay-in-Mexico” coverage that stored migrants in Mexico for his or her hearings.


“President Biden is lastly heading to the border to see firsthand the disaster that his lax insurance policies created, however we want actual motion to guard our communities,” Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., mentioned in a press release to Fox Information Digital. “As a result of the Biden administration has refused to implement immigration legal guidelines and end the border wall, unlawful fentanyl continues to stream throughout a large open southern border, and human traffickers and smugglers proceed to revenue off of the president’s inaction.”

The Biden administration has blamed the disaster on a mixture of “root causes” like poverty, corruption and violence in Central America and a damaged immigration that officers have repeatedly mentioned requires congressional action to fix

“The actions we’re asserting right now will make issues higher — will make issues higher however is not going to repair the border drawback utterly. There’s extra that must be accomplished, and I laid that out within the first week I used to be right here,” Biden mentioned Thursday. “That work is not going to be accomplished until and till the Congress enacts and funds a extra complete immigration plan that I proposed on day one.”

The administration additionally pointed to its personal strikes to cooperate with Western Hemisphere officers, safe further border funding and broaden authorized asylum pathways.

However that push has up to now failed to chill off the hot political pressure the White Home is going through. The administration noticed numbers spike underneath its watch, with greater than 1.7 million encounters in fiscal yr 2021. The scenario bought worse in fiscal 2022, with greater than 2.3 million encounters. To date in fiscal 2023, numbers for the primary two months have outpaced these from the identical time interval in 2022.

The border has additionally confronted uncertainty surrounding Title 42, a Trump-era coverage enacted firstly of the COVID-19 pandemic. That order permits for the speedy expulsion of migrants on the border and has been utilized by each the Trump and Biden administrations to expel tons of of hundreds of migrants.

The Biden administration was blocked from ending the order within the spring by a federal choose after which ordered to finish it by a special federal choose. The most recent order was blocked on the final minute by the Supreme Courtroom, and the case will now be thought-about later this yr by the Supreme Courtroom.

One other political firestorm is brewing for Biden within the type of the Republican takeover of the Home. Republicans have made it clear they intend to make the border disaster a key focus within the subsequent Congress and have even warned a couple of potential impeachment push towards DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

“President Biden and his liberal allies in Congress have turned their backs on this nationwide safety and humanitarian disaster for a lot too lengthy. Home Republicans will take motion to safe and regain operational management of America’s southern border,” Rep. Jake LaTurner, R-Kansas, mentioned in a press release Saturday.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on "Worldwide Threats to the Homeland" on Capitol Hill in Washington Nov. 15, 2022. 

Division of Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies earlier than a Home Homeland Safety Committee listening to on “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland” on Capitol Hill in Washington Nov. 15, 2022.  (REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy)

The administration has sought to push again on that strain, saying it’s the job of Congress job to repair a broken immigration system that was in place earlier than Biden took workplace, pointing to a invoice that was instantly rejected by Republicans in early 2021. The administration has referred to as on Congress for added border funding.


“It’s clear that immigration is a political problem that excessive Republicans are at all times going to run on. However now they’ve a alternative: They will maintain utilizing immigration to attempt to rating political factors, or they may also help clear up the issue. They may also help clear up the issue and are available collectively to repair the damaged system,” Biden mentioned.

Eight senators from each events will comply with Biden’s go to with a trip of their own Monday and Tuesday. The delegation led by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, will go to El Paso and Yuma, Arizona.


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