FederalImmigration & BorderIssuesBiden Confirms ‘Intention’ to Visit Southern Border for the First Time as President

Republicans have criticized Biden for declining to visit the border amid historic levels of illegal immigration.
January 4, 2023
UPDATE: The president reportedly confirmed near Air Force One in Kentucky that he would visit the southern border. “That’s my intention. We’re working out the details now,” he said.

President Biden is considering a trip to the southern border next week after he meets with the Canadian prime minister and the Mexican president in Mexico City, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The newspaper did not indicate whether their sources had specified which state Biden would visit if he chose to go to the border. However, the report did say one of their sources confirmed Biden would not announce any new policy measures during the potential visit.

Biden has not taken a trip to the border since his inauguration two years ago. Vice President Kamala Harris visited the El Paso area in July 2021 to praise the Biden administration’s “extreme progress” on the border. Harris has since commented she believes the border is secure.

“We have a secure border in that that is a priority for any nation, including ours and our administration, but there are still a lot of problems that we are trying to fix given the deterioration that happened over the last four years,” the vice president said in September.

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In December, the U.S. Supreme Court placed a stay on a decision by federal Judge Emmet Sullivan that would have required the Biden administration to stop expelling illegal aliens under a public health order under Title 42 of the U.S. Code. The policy, instituted by former President Trump, has been the basis for millions of expulsions.

There were 2.38 million encounters with illegal immigrants in Fiscal Year 2022, including 2.21 million arrests by border patrol agents between ports of entry. 1.5 million of the encounters took place in border patrol sectors located in Texas.

Officials from jurisdictions along the border have pressured Biden to provide more resources to respond to the spike in unlawful crossings by foreign nationals. Though she opposed policies based on deterrence, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16) asked Biden to do more to help El Paso when thousands of illegal immigrants began congregating in its streets and airport in the days leading up to the Supreme Court stay. The surge coincided with a cold snap that stretched the city’s resources capable of providing shelter to those congregating.

Biden is scheduled to attend the North American Leaders’ Summit from January 9-10.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."