President Biden to get a firsthand look at US-Mexico border situation

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President Biden to get a firsthand look at US-Mexico border situation



today. I’d like to Vice President. I’d like to talk to you about how that my administration is dealing with our situation in the Southwest border. Now, these actions alone, that I’m gonna announce today aren’t gonna fix our entire immigration system, but they can help us *** good deal and better managing what is *** difficult challenge. On my first day in office, some of you may recall cover this area. They cover. Well, I sent Congress *** comprehensive piece of legislation that would completely overhaul what has been *** broken immigration system for *** long time, cracking down on illegal immigration, strengthening legal immigration and protecting dreamers, Those who with temporary protective status from farm workers, who all are part of the fabric of our nation. But congressional Republicans have refused to consider my comprehensive plan. And they rejected my recent request for an additional $3.5 billion dollars to secure the border And funds for 2000 new asylum personnel, another asylum officers and personnel and, uh, and 100 new immigration judges. So people don’t have to wait years to get their claims adjudicate, which they have *** right to make *** claim legally. And the failure to pass and fund this comprehensive plan has increased the challenges that we’re seeing at our Southwest border. No one knows this better than the vice president and to truly understand what’s happening there. It’s important to step back and see our see the bigger picture here. You know, I know it’s hard to see, but because our politics has been so divisive, you know, it’s getting much better than all observed. But it’s been so darn divisive that it clouds the picture. I mean it clouds the picture. But let me explain what I’m going to do and as clearly and plainly as I can. I know it’s *** complicated issue. I don’t want to pretend there’s anything easy about it. People come to America for *** whole lot of different reasons to seek new opportunity and what is the strongest economy in the world? Can’t blame them wanting to do it safely oppression. You know, to the freest nation in the world. They chase their own American dream and the greatest nation in the world. And the story of America is the story of so many of your families including mine going back to the mid-1800s from Ireland now there are *** number of ways to immigrate to America legally under our existing laws. For example, an American citizen, American citizen can sponsor an immediate family member from another country. An american company can sponsor an employee from another country. There are visas for students to study in our colleges and other special categories. Regardless of the legal pathway they they process, they process them to require everyone be involved in following the law. That’s the notion there are laws to get here illegally. That includes another legal way for uh for someone to come to America by seeking asylum because they’re fleeing persecution. Like *** lot of our ancestors did as well. And for many people that’s what’s happening in our Southwest border now over the past several years, thousands of people have been fleeing from central and South America and the care in countries ruled by oppressive dictators including cuba Nicaragua Venezuela and escaping gang violence, which has the same impact in Haiti. Currently, these four countries account for most of the people traveling into Mexico to start *** new life by getting at the american border and trying to cross. But instead of safe and orderly process at the border with *** patchwork system that simply doesn’t work as it should. We don’t have enough asylum officers or personnel to determine whether people qualify for asylum. There is *** standard by what you have to meet. You don’t we don’t have enough immigrant judges, immigration judges to adjudicate the claims of immigrants. In fact, the previous administration used *** rule called title 42 To deal with to deal with the pandemic rapidly too rapidly expel people who cross the border. It was designed to deal with the pandemic but is used as *** means to expel people at the border. People turned away under title 42 and they’re not and and and and they’re not barred from trying to come back. They’ve been turned away. They go back. They try again, try again. Well, you know, they can and they do try to re enter the United States again and again, which makes the problem that borders at the border even worse. And under the United States Supreme Court decision, *** case on Title 42 later this year, my administration will and it will make *** decision finally what to do about the title 42. In the meantime, my administration will continue to use that authority as the Supreme Court as required until Congress passes the funds *** comprehensive immigration plan to fix the system completely. My administration is going to work to make things better at the border using the tools that we have available to us. Now today, my administration is taking several steps to stiffen enforcement for those who try to come without *** legal right to stay and to put in place *** faster process, emphasize *** faster process to decide *** claim of asylum. Someone says I’m coming because I’m escaping oppression. Well, there’s got to be *** way to determine that much quicker for people who are incredibly seeking protection from persecution. Secretary of Homeland Security Marcus will detail these actions very shortly after I finish at Homeland Security. But here’s one significant step we’re taking over the summer. We saw *** huge spike in the number of Venezuelans traveling through, uh, through Mexico and attempting to enter the United States without going through our legal processes there, we responded by using uh, ensuring that there are two safe and lawful ways for someone leaving the country to come to America. That was one of the reasons you you were proposing first. If they’re seeking asylum, they can use an app on their cell phone called C. B. P. 10. N. E. C. B. P 10. N. E. Let’s just spell it out. Not the number one to schedule an appointment at the ports of entry and make their asylum claim there without crossing the border unlawfully and have *** decision determined by an asylum officer. Do they qualify second in october We work with the mexican government to launch *** new parole program. There’s another program called You all know but the public may not call the parole program that immediately showed results by reducing the number of people crossing the border unlawfully. The way this parole program works. One must have *** lawful sponsor here in the United States who agrees to sponsor you to get here, then that person has to go undergo rigorous background checks and apply from outside the United States and not cross the border illegally. In the meantime, if they apply in their application is approved, they can use the same app, the C. B. P. One app to present at the ports of entry and be able to work in the United States legally for two years. That’s the process. But if their application is denied or if they attempt to cross into the United States unlawfully they’ll be returned back to Mexico and will not be eligible for this program after that. So they if they making the program available if they apply and they do it properly fine. If they if they don’t apply and they try to come through, they’re not going to have an opportunity to deal with the program. This new processes orderly. It’s safe and it’s humane and it works since Creek created the new program, The number of Venezuelans trying to enter America without going through *** legal process has dropped dramatically from about 1100 per day to less than 250 per day on average, that several 100 people on average every single day who are not crossing into America illegally. Today, I’m announcing that my administration is going to expand the parole program for people not only from Venezuela, but from cuba Nicaragua and Haiti again, these four countries Venezuela, cuba cuba and Nicaragua and Haiti. These four countries account for most of the people not traveling into Mexico to try to start *** new life by crossing the border into the United States of America in the Southwest border, we anticipate this action is going to substantially reduce the number of people attempting attempting to cross our Southwest border without going through *** legal process. In fact, today, I’m announcing that the Mexico has agreed to allow up to return up to 30,000 persons per month who tried to get caught and get sent back from those four countries were apprehended while attempting to unlawfully across the border. The Southwest border. My message is this. If you’re trying to leave cuba Nicaragua or Haiti. You have and we or have agreed to begin *** journey to America. Do not do not just show up at the border stay where you are and apply legally from there. Starting today. If you don’t apply through the legal process, you will not be eligible for this new parole program. Let me reiterate. You need *** lawful sponsor in the United States of America number one. And you need to undergo *** rigorous background check number two. If your application is approved and you show up at *** US airport or when and where directed Excuse me, you have access. But if your applications is an iou attempt to cross into the United States unlawfully. You will not be allowed to enter, Look, we should all recognize that as long as America is the land of freedom and opportunity. People are gonna try to come here and that’s what many of our ancestors did. And it’s no surprise that it’s happening again today. We can’t stop people from making the journey but we can require them to come here that they come here in an orderly way under U. S. Law. And let me say it again. The actions we are announcing today will make things better. Will make things better but will not fix the border problem completely. There’s more that has to be done. I laid that out in the first week I was here. That work will not be done unless and until the Congress enacts and funds *** more comprehensive immigration plan that I proposed on day one until Congress has acted. I can act where I have legal capacity to do so. Last year I brought together 20 leaders, many of you were there from the Western hemisphere heads of state to stabilize the flow of immigration, to expand pathways immigration and to manage border and manage the border. Humanely. The leaders of the hemisphere build on those efforts that I led when I was vice president to expand economic assistance to nations in north central America. So people here can there there can improve their economic prospects at home. Instead of having to leave the United States. Most people would much rather stay in the country. They are. If they can feed their families, be safe, send their kids to school and have opportunity. It’s not like people have heard me say before. It’s not like people are sitting around *** table and somewhere in central America. So I got *** great idea. Let’s sell everything we have. Let’s give it to *** coyote, *** smuggler. They’ll take us on *** hiring journey for 1000 miles to get to the United States. Then we’re going to illegally cross the border. They’re gonna drop us in the desert and we’re facing, we don’t speak the language. Won’t that be fun. I’m not being facetious. Well, President Harris led this effort led this effort to make things better in the countries from which they are leaving. And thanks to her leadership, she’s been able to generate more than $3.2 billion dollars from the private sector to create jobs and opportunities in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Tell people stay in their own countries, home countries where will be safer. And they have some opportunities. We’ve also set up *** joint patrols and law enforcement with Mexico and Guatemala that share real time information on locations that smugglers are using to convince migrant groups to cross illegally. That’s what they’re doing. This is there out recruiting, recruiting. They’re taking all the savings or anything. They have to take them on an incredibly dangerous journey. We embedded our border patrol officers with mexican patrols to detect and raid human smuggling operations. This has been, we thus far there had more than 7000 arrests of human smugglers in the last six months. 7000 that’s not just human smuggling at the border. We’re focused on cracking down on drug smuggling, which is *** serious and deadly promise. Excuse me problem. And I made *** promise we would try this. My administration is allocated record funding that added hundreds of additional border patrol agents and install new cutting edge technologies to be able to use it effectively. Uh, you know, it’s like an X ray machine detailed to be able to look through these large containers to determine what’s in the container and at the border, for example, since august of last year, Customs and Border Patrol have seized more than £20,000 of deadly fentaNYL. That’s enough to kill, kill as many as 1000 people in this country. £20,000 of fentaNYL. It’s *** killer. It’s *** flat killer. Next week, I’m going to travel to Mexico, where I’m going to meet with President Lopez Obrador. We have *** big agenda that raises the climate crisis to economic development and other issues. But one important part of that agenda is strengthening our border between our nations and I will visit the border myself this sunday in el paso to assess border enforcement operations, meet with the local officials and community leaders and the folks at the border, sending me what they need that they don’t have and make it public what they conclude they need. They don’t have to try to convince my republican colleagues they should do something. And I know that migration is putting *** real strain on the borders and on border communities can’t do anything but that we’re gonna get these communities more support. I want to thank all the nonprofits, the faith groups, the community leaders and other volunteers who will make sure that vulnerable immigrants have what they need to survive. Whether it’s food, warm clothing, shelter, medical care right after their arrival. These religious and civic groups represent our our nation’s generosity, the best of our country and they really do they really do. And there are powerful rebuke to the hostility and even the hate which many people face when they arrive here legally? Let me close this. Our problems at the border didn’t arise overnight and not going to be solved overnight. It’s *** difficult problem. It’s clear that immigration is *** political issue that extreme republicans are always going to run on. But now they have *** choice. They can keep using immigration to try to score political points where they can help solve the problem. They can help solve the problem and come together to fix the broken system before Congress adjourned for the holidays. Some Democrats and Republicans, *** few of them got together both sides up in the Senate and decided they were going to put together *** comprehensive plan and immigration with Republican leadership and other republic. I don’t know who exactly who did it rebuked it and rejected it out of hand, broke up. Just like they rejected my plan two years ago, just like they rejected my recent request for an additional $3.5 billion dollars to secure and manage the border with more holding for Facilities, better transportation, additional funding for 2000 new asylum officers and personnel, 100 new immigration judges to more rapidly adjudicate for people when they come here. And how much and so much more think about it. I mean, if this were something that we were, we had to have 100 more, uh, immigration officers to see to it that we’re able to import something we needed very badly. It wouldn’t take very much time to get it, would it? It would be really done. Or conversely, if there are criminal gangs coming into this nation or, I mean, but when it comes to immigration, it seems like it’s *** better issue, better issue for them than trying to solve it. Look, we need we need more resources to secure the border. Yet again, Extreme republicans have said no, many republicans agree we should do something, but it’s time to stop listening to the inflammatory talk. It’s time to look at their record, as I’ve always done. When I sit down and I’ll sit down with anyone who in good faith wants to fix our broken immigration system. And it’s hard, it’s hard on the best of circumstances, but if the most extreme republicans continue to demagogue this issue and reject solutions, I’m left with only one choice to act on my own, do as much as I can on my own to try to change the atmosphere. Immigration reform used to be *** bipartisan issue. We can make it that way. Again, it’s not only the right thing to do. It’s economically smart thing to do. That’s why immigration reform is supported by everyone thinking this. Now, I want to remind the public immigration reform is supported by the american labor movement unions. It’s supported by religious leaders, It’s supported by the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, We can secure our border fixed immigration system to be orderly, fair, safe, inhumane. We can do all this while keeping lit the torch of liberty. That has lead generation of immigration to America many of our forebearers, many of yours we can do this by remembering who we are. You’ve heard me say this *** million times were the United States America the idea this is beyond our capacity. I just don’t buy. We can do anything and we do it together. And you’ve heard me say it also many times, God bless you all! May God protect our troops. I’m gonna stop here in *** few minutes literally *** few minutes Secretary Mayorkas and I have been coordinating, he’s going to be speaking in much greater detail. We’ll take questions at the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters. Thank you for your time. And this is going to be this, this is *** hard one to deal with. But we have to deal with it. I mean, it’s who we are. Well, I think it is *** human right if you have your if your family is being persecuted, if you’re being dealt with in *** way, I mean like it was it was *** human right for you know, uh jews in Germany to be able to go to get to escape and get help where they could. Um but the other side of this is there’s also the people in this country have basic rights that are here basic fundamental rights to ensure that people are coming have been checked out. They’re not criminals. They’re not problem there. You know that their background checks are real. They, I mean, look, if you think about it, there’s not *** whole lot of countries people would rather live in than here. I mean it sincerely, I I think about this and I think this is sometimes the team looks at me like maybe I’m out of my mind here. But all kidding aside, if you just said tomorrow, alright, for the next year, you can move to any country you want without any questions how many people you think are gonna leave the United States? And I can name any of the 100 40 some countries I’ve been to, there’s more than that. I think again, *** lot would be willing to leave and come here. So there’s *** rationale that has to be an orderly process and rationale to it. But it is. Um, and there’s other ways we can deal with this. As I said, you may remember, no, I don’t think you’re old enough have been doing it when I was doing as *** senator when I came up with *** proposal to have billions of dollars of funding for the central America to keep people where they are remember we were putting and it was very, very precise. For example, if the country was in economic difficulty and most of them are because of climate and other things and they say, okay, well, we have ***, they have *** problem. Well, guess what, they don’t have lighting in their, in their town squares. They can’t, they can’t, you know, assure the safety people walking the streets. Well, if their leader asked for money, we made them sign *** proposal that they’re gonna do lighting in the town square is what they’re gonna do, exactly what they’re gonna do. We checked it out, we put it in and began to work or hospitals, we have hospitals that don’t function because they don’t have the following. Well, one of the reasons people will stay is if you’ve improved the hospital, we were doing that. And the thing that I’m so presumptive to say proud of, proud of the Vice President. She went beyond the United States and contributors to try to get the rest of the world to say, look, this makes sense. And, you know, she got commitments of 3.53 point $3.2 billion. And so there’s ***, there’s *** lot to be done and think about it even back in days when um, it’s so easy to demagogue. This issue, it’s so easy to demagogue it. And you hear, you know, *** number of our friends, the magnet republicans talking about, you know, uh, they don’t even want to speak in english anymore. They want me speaking da da da, they’re gonna do, they’re gonna take over my community, they, whoever they are at the time? Well, you know, that’s what *** lot of folks went through when they got here going all the way back to the 1800s. It’s not new, it’s part of human nature and fear, but there’s got to be an orderly way and I know we can make it much much better. Have been serious about this at all. They haven’t been serious about this at all. I wanted to make sure that I knew what the outcome, at least the near outcome was on title 42 before I went down. We don’t have that yet. So I had to operate. I don’t like the title 42 but it’s the law now have to operate within it is my prediction is not nothing particularly insightful about this. Title 42 is gonna go away before the end of the year in terms of Supreme Court, my prediction. And then we’re gonna have to use title nine, Title of 88 am I right? Yeah, Title 889 And uh which is which we can implement what we’re doing here plus some other things. But so I wanted to make sure there was *** rational way in which we could begin to announce. But I couldn’t wait once the Supreme Court ruled that they’re not going to make the final decision on title 42 for some time for another. Who knows? Probably not till June at that range. I don’t know that for *** fact to be able to lay this out. But look, my artist is waiting to impress you all. Are you concerned about the are you concerned about the fact that require an airline ticket? Could prejudice or lean it toward wealthier migrants and make it harder for poorer migrants. But there’s also ways to get the ports of entry along the border as well. The ceasefire proposed by President Putin in Ukraine for the Orthodox christmas on january 6th seventh. Have you heard about that? You have *** reaction to? I’m reluctant to respond to anything Putin says. I found it interesting. He was ready to, uh, bomb hospitals and nurseries and uh, churches and uh, with the, uh, with with the 25th and new year’s. And I mean, I think he’s trying to find some oxygen. Thank you so far. Are you still watching attention? Thank you.

President Joe Biden is heading to the U.S.-Mexico border on Sunday, his first trip there as president after two years of hounding by Republicans who have hammered him as soft on border security while the number of migrants crossing spirals.Biden is due to spend a few hours in El Paso, Texas, currently the biggest corridor for illegal crossings, due in large part to Nicaraguans fleeing repression, crime and poverty in their country. They are among migrants from four countries who are now subject to quick expulsion under new rules enacted by the Biden administration in the past week.The president is expected to meet with border officials to discuss migration as well as the increased trafficking of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, which are driving skyrocketing numbers of overdoses in the U.S.Biden will visit the El Paso County Migrant Services Center and meet with nonprofits and religious groups that support migrants arriving to the U.S. It is not clear whether Biden will talk to any migrants.“The president’s very much looking forward to seeing for himself firsthand what the border security situation looks like,” said John Kirby, White House national security spokesman. “This is something that he wanted to see for himself.”Biden’s announcement on border security and his visit to the border are aimed in part at quelling the political noise and blunting the impact of upcoming investigations into immigration promised by House Republicans. But any enduring solution will require action by the sharply divided Congress, where multiple efforts to enact sweeping changes have failed in recent years.Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Cornyn of Texas offered faint praise for Biden’s decision to visit the border, and even that was notable in the current political climate.”He must take the time to learn from some of the experts I rely on the most, including local officials and law enforcement, landowners, nonprofits, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s officers and agents, and folks who make their livelihoods in border communities on the front lines of his crisis,” Cornyn said.From El Paso, Biden will continue south to Mexico City, where he and the leaders of Mexico and Canada will gather on Monday and Tuesday for a North American leaders summit. Immigration is among the items on the agenda.In El Paso, where migrants congregate at bus stops and in parks before traveling on, border patrol agents have stepped up security before Biden’s visit.“I think they’re trying to send a message that they’re going to more consistently check people’s documented status, and if you have not been processed they are going to pick you up,” said Ruben Garcia of the Annunciation House aid group in El Paso.Migrants and asylum-seekers fleeing violence and persecution have increasingly found that protections in the United States are available primarily to those with money or the savvy to find someone to vouch for them financially.Jose Natera, a Venezuelan migrant in El Paso who hopes to seek asylum in Canada, said he has no prospects for finding a U.S. sponsor and that he’s now reluctant to seek asylum in the U.S. because he’s afraid of being sent to Mexico.Mexico “is a terrible country where there is crime, corruption, cartels and even the police persecute you,” he said. “They say that people who think about entering illegally won’t have a chance, but at the same time I don’t have a sponsor. … I came to this country to work. I didn’t come here to play.”The numbers of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has risen dramatically during Biden’s first two years in office. There were more than 2.38 million stops during the year that ended Sept. 30, the first time the number topped 2 million. The administration has struggled to clamp down on crossings, reluctant to take hard-line measures that would resemble those of the Trump administration.The policy changes announced this past week are Biden’s biggest move yet to contain illegal border crossings and will turn away tens of thousands of migrants arriving at the border. At the same time, 30,000 migrants per month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela will get the chance to come to the U.S. legally as long as they travel by plane, get a sponsor and pass background checks.The U.S. will also turn away migrants who do not seek asylum first in a country they traveled through en route to the U.S.The changes were welcomed by some, particularly leaders in cities where migrants have been massing. But Biden was excoriated by immigrant advocate groups, which accused him of taking measures modeled after those of the former president.“I do take issue with comparing us to Donald Trump,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, pointing to some of his most maligned policies, including the separation of migrant children from their parents.“This is not that president,” she said.For all of his international travel over his 50 years in public service, Biden has not spent much time at the U.S.-Mexico border.The only visit that the White House could point to was Biden’s drive by the border while he was campaigning for president in 2008. He sent Vice President Kamala Harris to El Paso in 2021, but she was criticized for largely bypassing the action, because El Paso wasn’t the center of crossings that it is now.President Barack Obama made a 2011 trip to El Paso, where he toured border operations and the Paso Del Norte international bridge, but he was later criticized for not going back as tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors crossed into the U.S. from Mexico.Trump, who made hardening immigration a signature issue, traveled to the border several times. During one visit, he crammed into a small border station to inspect cash and drugs confiscated by agents. During a trip to McAllen, Texas, then the center of a growing crisis, he made one of his most-often repeated claims, that Mexico would pay to build a border wall.American taxpayers ended up footing the bill after Mexican leaders flatly rejected the idea.“NO,” Enrique Peña Nieto, then Mexico’s president, tweeted in May 2018. “Mexico will NEVER pay for a wall. Not now, not ever. Sincerely, Mexico (all of us).”___Associated Press writer Morgan Lee in Santa Fe, New Mexico, contributed to this report.

President Joe Biden is heading to the U.S.-Mexico border on Sunday, his first trip there as president after two years of hounding by Republicans who have hammered him as soft on border security while the number of migrants crossing spirals.

Biden is due to spend a few hours in El Paso, Texas, currently the biggest corridor for illegal crossings, due in large part to Nicaraguans fleeing repression, crime and poverty in their country. They are among migrants from four countries who are now subject to quick expulsion under new rules enacted by the Biden administration in the past week.

The president is expected to meet with border officials to discuss migration as well as the increased trafficking of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, which are driving skyrocketing numbers of overdoses in the U.S.

Biden will visit the El Paso County Migrant Services Center and meet with nonprofits and religious groups that support migrants arriving to the U.S. It is not clear whether Biden will talk to any migrants.

“The president’s very much looking forward to seeing for himself firsthand what the border security situation looks like,” said John Kirby, White House national security spokesman. “This is something that he wanted to see for himself.”

Biden’s announcement on border security and his visit to the border are aimed in part at quelling the political noise and blunting the impact of upcoming investigations into immigration promised by House Republicans. But any enduring solution will require action by the sharply divided Congress, where multiple efforts to enact sweeping changes have failed in recent years.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Cornyn of Texas offered faint praise for Biden’s decision to visit the border, and even that was notable in the current political climate.

“He must take the time to learn from some of the experts I rely on the most, including local officials and law enforcement, landowners, nonprofits, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s officers and agents, and folks who make their livelihoods in border communities on the front lines of his crisis,” Cornyn said.

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

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

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

Migrants and asylum-seekers fleeing violence and persecution have increasingly found that protections in the United States are available primarily to those with money or the savvy to find someone to vouch for them financially.

Jose Natera, a Venezuelan migrant in El Paso who hopes to seek asylum in Canada, said he has no prospects for finding a U.S. sponsor and that he’s now reluctant to seek asylum in the U.S. because he’s afraid of being sent to Mexico.

Mexico “is a terrible country where there is crime, corruption, cartels and even the police persecute you,” he said. “They say that people who think about entering illegally won’t have a chance, but at the same time I don’t have a sponsor. … I came to this country to work. I didn’t come here to play.”

The numbers of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has risen dramatically during Biden’s first two years in office. There were more than 2.38 million stops during the year that ended Sept. 30, the first time the number topped 2 million. The administration has struggled to clamp down on crossings, reluctant to take hard-line measures that would resemble those of the Trump administration.

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

The U.S. will also turn away migrants who do not seek asylum first in a country they traveled through en route to the U.S.

The changes were welcomed by some, particularly leaders in cities where migrants have been massing. But Biden was excoriated by immigrant advocate groups, which accused him of taking measures modeled after those of the former president.

“I do take issue with comparing us to Donald Trump,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, pointing to some of his most maligned policies, including the separation of migrant children from their parents.

“This is not that president,” she said.

For all of his international travel over his 50 years in public service, Biden has not spent much time at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The only visit that the White House could point to was Biden’s drive by the border while he was campaigning for president in 2008. He sent Vice President Kamala Harris to El Paso in 2021, but she was criticized for largely bypassing the action, because El Paso wasn’t the center of crossings that it is now.

President Barack Obama made a 2011 trip to El Paso, where he toured border operations and the Paso Del Norte international bridge, but he was later criticized for not going back as tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors crossed into the U.S. from Mexico.

Trump, who made hardening immigration a signature issue, traveled to the border several times. During one visit, he crammed into a small border station to inspect cash and drugs confiscated by agents. During a trip to McAllen, Texas, then the center of a growing crisis, he made one of his most-often repeated claims, that Mexico would pay to build a border wall.

American taxpayers ended up footing the bill after Mexican leaders flatly rejected the idea.

“NO,” Enrique Peña Nieto, then Mexico’s president, tweeted in May 2018. “Mexico will NEVER pay for a wall. Not now, not ever. Sincerely, Mexico (all of us).”

___

Associated Press writer Morgan Lee in Santa Fe, New Mexico, contributed to this report.

President Biden to get a firsthand look at US-Mexico border situation Source link President Biden to get a firsthand look at US-Mexico border situation