Biden and Trump to visit US-Mexico border on same day this week

President Joe Biden, left, and former President Donald Trump.
President Joe Biden, left, and former President Donald Trump. Reuters/Getty Images


President Joe Biden is set to make a rare trip to the US-Mexico border on Thursday, setting up a split screen with 2024 rival former President Donald Trump, who has made Biden’s handling of illegal immigration a centerpiece of his reelection effort.

Trump is expected to give remarks at Eagle Pass on Thursday, according to a source familiar with his plans.

During his visit, Biden is expected to meet with US Border Patrol agents, law enforcement and local leaders in Brownsville to discuss the need for a border agreement, according to a White House official. Brownsville and Eagle Pass are about 300 miles apart.

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The failure of the package came in large part due to opposition from Trump, who hopes to wield the border as a political cudgel against Biden.

The New York Times was first to report on Biden’s visit.

White House officials reached out over the weekend to Texas lawmakers and officials who oversee border towns ahead of Biden’s visit.

Rep. Jasmine Crockett told CNN the Texas congressional delegation is aware of the president’s trip to the border, but said there were no immediate plans for members to join Biden as lawmakers return to Capitol Hill this week to try to avert a government shutdown.

Since last month, a group of Texas mayors have repeatedly called on Biden to visit the southern border and have called on Congress to pass the national security supplemental package that would provide funding to address some of the concerns along the southern border.

Migrants walk along razor wire after crossing the Rio Grande into the United States on January 8 in Eagle Pass, Texas.
Migrants walk along razor wire after crossing the Rio Grande into the United States on January 8 in Eagle Pass, Texas.  John Moore/Getty Images

White House officials have been having ongoing conversations with local Texas officials for several weeks about issues arising at the southern border.

Biden has previously visited the border once as president, traveling to El Paso, Texas, in January 2023, where he visited a migrant respite center but did not appear to see or meet with migrants.

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In a statement responding to news of Biden’s planned visit, Trump’s campaign said Biden “has had three years to visit the border and fix the crisis he created.”

“Now Biden’s handlers are sending him there on the same day as President Trump’s publicly reported trip, not because they actually want to solve the problem, but because they know Biden is losing terribly,” Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt said.

Trump repeatedly made border visits during his time as president – and since. During an event near the Texas-Mexico border in November, Trump escalated his anti-immigration rhetoric and received the endorsement of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has taken his own steps to undermine Biden’s authority on border policy.

Trump, who has said that undocumented immigrants are “poisoning the blood” of the United States, has vowed to conduct the “largest domestic deportation operation in American history” if he wins the White House in November.

He’s planning for a widespread expansion of his administration’s immigration policies that would restrict both legal and illegal immigration. The plans include rounding up undocumented immigrations and placing them in detention camps to await deportation.

Biden’s campaign called Trump’s proposed policies “un-American,” “inhumane” and “draconian.”

But the executive actions Biden is considering have drawn some comparisons to controversial measures Trump took while in office. Hoping to spur passage of the failed immigration bill, Biden said earlier this month he would be open to the idea of shutting down the border.

The Biden administration has taken other steps to try to tighten asylum at the US-Mexico border. Last year, the administration released a regulation that largely barred migrants who traveled through other countries on their way to the US southern border from applying for asylum in the United States — marking a departure from decades-long protocol.


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