In his first trip to the southern border since becoming president, Vice President Joe Biden spent Sunday touring the busiest port in El Paso, Texas. While there, he visited with members of the Border Patrol and spoke with workers at a migrant services facility that is supported by the federal government.
When reporters on Sunday afternoon asked Vice President Biden what he had learned from the trip, he responded by saying, “They need a lot of resources.” They can count on us to come through for them. Shortly after landing in El Paso, Vice President Biden was met by the state’s Republican governor, Greg Abbott, who has been at odds with the administration about immigration policies. Abbott greeted Biden.
“The President was required to be here since he caused the mess at the border.” It’s just a coincidence that he’s two years and around $20 billion behind schedule,” Abbott said to the press. Abbott gave Vice President Biden a letter that contained the Republican party’s suggestions for immigration legislation. In the letter, Abbott referred to the visit as a photo op. Later on, Sunday, when speaking to reporters, Biden stated that he had not yet had the chance to read it.
The governor, for his part, has been accused of employing migrants as pawns to facilitate the transfer of thousands of people from the border to cities in the north. This claim has also been leveled against him. According to reporters who were present, Border Patrol agents in El Paso demonstrated to Vice President Biden the methods that are used for identifying smuggled products, and he also viewed the physical border wall that separates the city of El Paso from Juarez, Mexico.
Earlier on Sunday, the press secretary for the White House, Karine Jean-Pierre, stated that Vice President Biden intended to meet with local business leaders. Jean-Pierre did not answer reporters’ direct questions about whether or not Vice President Biden would address migrants during the trip.
The White House announced last week a new policy that will provide humanitarian “parole” to 30,000 migrants a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, and it will also crack down on individuals who do not go through legal methods to enter the US.
Speaking to reporters on the way to El Paso on Sunday, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said of migrants, “What we’re trying to have is an incentive for them to come to the ports of entry instead of in between the points of entry.” Mayorkas made this statement while traveling to El Paso.
On Sunday, Mayorkas attempted to differentiate between a new regulation that was submitted by the Department of Justice last week and a similar rule that was implemented during the Trump administration and known as a “transit ban.”
“It’s not a ban at all,” Mayorkas said about the idea, which would require migrants to first be denied safe harbor in another nation before filing for asylum in the United States. This requirement is quite similar to the policy that was in place before the Trump administration.
The visit of Vice President Biden to El Paso comes at a time when his administration’s immigration policies are coming under fire from Republicans. This is especially true in light of the possible imminence of the end of Title 42, an enforcement mechanism that has been utilized by both the Biden and Trump administrations to expeditiously deport millions of people.
“Of course, El Paso is a location in which we’ve had a significant obstacle,” Mayorkas stated. According to him, the administration has dispatched an additional one hundred border patrol agents to the city and is making preparations to launch a brand-new facility for the processing of migrants there on Tuesday.
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