Biden, Trump visit US-Mexico border in reelection effort

10:22 a.m. ET, February 29, 2024

Border trip marks dramatic shift for Biden

President Joe Biden speaks to the press before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 29. 

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s visit to the US-Mexico border to hammer Republicans over the failed Senate border bill, which included tough border security measures, marks a dramatic shift for a White House that generally distanced itself from the issue. 

Since Biden took office, officials have grappled with record migration across the Western Hemisphere fueled by the toll of the coronavirus pandemic. Images of thousands of migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border dogged the administration as it wrestled with how to manage multiple different nationalities — a significant change from previous years that proved challenging. 

Sources tell CNN that discussions about the border at the White House were often tense as the issue increasingly became a political liability for Biden. The last time Biden visited the US southern border was in January 2023, when he went to El Paso, Texas. 

But now, the White House is trying to take advantage of Republicans backing away from the Senate border bill — and seizing on border security to take swipes at the GOP. In an example of that, last week, at an annual meeting of governors at the White House, Biden cited the deal, calling it the “strongest border deal the country has ever seen.”  Officials also placed a fact sheet with details of the compromise at each table where the governors were seated. 

What was in the compromise: The deal — worked on by Senate negotiators and administration officials for months — included a new emergency authority that would allow the Homeland Security secretary to shut down the border if certain triggers are met, raised the legal standard of proof to pass the initial screening for asylum, among other measures.  

Biden is also considering sweeping executive action that would restrict the ability of migrants to seek asylum in the US if they crossed the border illegally. 

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *