Biden, Trump make border visits in reelection effort

Insight Online News

Houston, Mar 1 : Both U.S. President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump visited the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday, making partisan showcases on immigration and border security, a key issue in the 2024 presidential races.

Biden met border agents at Brownsville in southeastern Texas, urging Republican lawmakers to pass more border security funding and reconsider a bipartisan border package killed in the Senate earlier this month, while Trump toured Eagle Pass about 482 km away near the southwestern Texas border.

“The U.S. Senate needs to reconsider this bill and those senators who oppose it need to set politics aside and pass it on the merits not on whether it’s going to benefit one party or benefit the other party,” Biden said.

The deal was derailed by “partisan politics,” Biden said. “We need to act. It’s time for the speaker and some of my Republican friends in Congress who are blocking this bill to show a little spine.”

The timing of Biden’s second border trip since he took office was meant to maximize its political impact a week before the State of the Union address, CNN noted.

“Nice weather. Beautiful day. But a very dangerous border. We’re going to take care of it,” Trump, the GOP’s dominant frontrunner in presidential primaries, told reporters after arriving in Texas. He visited Eagle Pass with Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

The former president again fiercely slammed Biden’s handling of illegal immigration at the southern border, saying that Biden was trying to connect the inflow of undocumented migrants with rampant city crimes across the country.

“The United States is being overrun by the Biden, migrant crime. It’s a new form of vicious violation to our country,” Trump said. “It’s migrant crime. We call it the Biden migrant crime, but that’s a little bit long.”

Trump promised that once returning to the White House, he would enact a widespread expansion of his administration’s immigration policies so as to restrict both legal and illegal immigration.

During the campaign, Trump has also vowed to conduct the “largest domestic deportation operation in American history” if he wins back the White House.

Meanwhile, Trump spoke highly of Abbott’s legal actions and tough measures against illegal border crossing. The governor has bused thousands of migrants to Democratic-run cities including New York City, Washington D.C. and Chicago.

Abbott announced that the Texas government is planning to build an 80-acre (about 32.37-hectare) base to house up to 1,800 Texas National Guard members near Eagle Pass.

As Biden and Trump are marching toward a likely rematch in November, immigration has emerged as a central issue in the 2024 presidential campaign.

Political advertisers from both parties have spent nearly 52 million U.S. dollars on campaign ads about immigration so far in 2024, according to AdImpact data.

Only 30 percent of U.S. voters approve of Biden on the immigration issue, the lowest issue approval rating for him in a recent CNN poll.

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