Monday, April 15, 2024

Biden wants Trump to agree on fixing the migrant plan when they both visit the border at the same time.

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On February 29 in Brownsville and Eagle Pass, Texas, President Joe Biden asked Donald Trump for assistance in advancing a plan stuck in Congress to reduce migrant crossings. Both leaders visited the border, engaging in contrasting visits over a significant issue leading up to the November election. In Brownsville, Texas, near the Mexico border, Biden criticized Republicans for turning down a joint effort to strengthen immigration regulations. This came after Trump advised them against passing it, wanting to prevent the president from claiming a victory.

Biden and Trump are likely to go head-to-head again in a tight election on Nov. 5. The upcoming battle seems like a repeat of the 2020 showdown, stirring up strong feelings among people. In response to Trump, Biden suggests, “Instead of asking Congress to reject this law, let’s team up. Either I’ll support you, or you support me in urging Congress to approve this security bill that both parties agree on.” He adds that he wants everyone to understand why there’s a lack of action on this issue.

After talking with border patrol agents and people on the field, Biden mentioned they really need more help. Trump also talked with local officials and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, at the Rio Grande. Later, he spoke at Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, where there have been issues with people crossing the border in the last few months.

Trump said this is a situation caused by Biden over the past three years. He talked about crimes committed by migrants and called the border issue a “war.” This is the latest example of the strong language he’s been using recently.

He promised to bring back certain rules from his time in charge, like the “Stay in Mexico” plan. This plan made some people seeking entry to the U.S. wait in Mexico until their immigration cases were decided.

A group of several hundred supporters of the previous president gathered in a place with a view of Shelby Park. This area was taken over to prevent illegal border crossings. They carried flags that said “Make America Great Again” and “Never Surrender.”

When Biden became president in 2021, he said he would change the strict immigration rules set by the previous president, Trump. However, he has now adopted a tougher stance, partly due to criticism from Republicans who accuse him of not controlling the border.

Last year, under pressure, Biden asked Congress for more money to enforce immigration laws. He even mentioned the possibility of closing the border if given more power to turn away migrants.

There’s talk that the White House might use its own authority to stop more people from seeking asylum at the border. This information comes from someone who knows about the situation.

Republicans believe Biden could do a better job enforcing current laws and taking new actions without waiting for Congress to agree.

Biden was joined by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who Republican lawmakers have narrowly voted to impeach over his handling of the border, a move unlikely to succeed in the Democratic-led Senate.
“This visit is focused on the work that we do, not the rhetoric of others,” Mayorkas told reporters on Air Force One.

RISING CONCERN FOR VOTERS

A Reuters-Ipsos poll from Jan. 31 found rising concern among Americans about immigration, with 17% of respondents listing it as the most important problem facing the U.S. today, up sharply from 11% in December.
It was the top concern of Republican respondents, with 36% citing it as their main worry, above the 29% who cited the economy.
Trump was joined on his visit by Abbott, whose administration has been building a military “base camp” at Eagle Pass to deter migrants.
Eagle Pass remains a flashpoint in a heated partisan debate over border security even though the number of migrants caught crossing illegally into both there and Brownsville dropped sharply in January and February.
The number of migrants caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally hit a monthly record of 250,000 in December but dropped by half in January, a trend U.S. officials attribute to increased Mexican enforcement and seasonal trends.
A federal judge in Texas on Thursday blocked the state’s new law giving officials broad powers to arrest, prosecute and order the removal of people who illegally cross the border.
Abbott has deployed thousands of National Guard troops and laid concertina wire and river buoys to deter illegal immigration through a program called Operation Lone Star.
Some Democrats told Reuters they were turning toward Trump in Maverick County near the border, a rare Democratic stronghold in the majority Republican state of Texas.
Wendy Riojas, 25, who came to downtown Eagle Pass to see Trump visiting her hometown, voted for Biden in 2020 but does not know who she will support in November.
“You feel sometimes for people who are in situations like that who are dying to get over here,” she said. “But I understand more of the Republican view of … how about we focus on ourselves first.”

Additional reporting by Jeff Mason, Richard Cowan and Dan Whitcomb; Writing by Steve Holland and Costas Pitas; Editing by Deepa Babington and Stephen Coates

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