Biden announces plans to travel to US-Mexico border

HEBRON, Ky. (AP) — President Joe Biden plans to visit the U.S.-Mexico border — his first since taking office — as part of his meeting next week in Mexico City with the leaders of Mexico and the United States. Canada.

“That’s my intention, we’re working out the details now,” Biden told reporters Wednesday during a trip to Kentucky.

Biden said upon his return to the White House he hoped to see “what’s going on” at the border and also planned to comment on border security on Thursday.

There have been sharp increases in the number of migrants at the border even as a US public health law remains in place that allows US authorities to refuse many people seeking asylum in the United States. Republican leaders have slammed the president for what they say are ineffective border security policies and questioned why he hasn’t been there yet.

But there was praise on Wednesday following the news.

“I am thrilled that President Biden is finally visiting our southern border – which has been completely turned over to cartels, smugglers and human traffickers,” tweeted Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., among the most critical.

Among the complaints about border security by Republicans is the amount of fentanyl entering the United States through Mexico. A 2022 report from a bipartisan federal commission found that fentanyl and similar drugs are made primarily in labs in Mexico from chemicals shipped primarily from China.

NEWS WRAP: Supreme Court rules Title 42 border policy will remain in place indefinitely

And fentanyl and other lab-produced synthetic opioids are now causing a deadlier-than-ever overdose crisis in the United States. But drug control advocates and experts say an anti-drug policy that relies on tighter border security is dangerous and likely futile. It’s too easy to move small, hard-to-detect amounts.

Drug trafficking and immigration are among the main topics of discussion at the summit on Monday and Tuesday when Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are hosted by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Early in his presidency, Biden put Vice President Kamala Harris in charge of White House efforts to address the challenge of border migration and work with Central American countries to address the central causes of the problem. She traveled to El Paso, Texas, in June 2021 and was criticized for choosing a location too far from the epicenter of border crossings that strain federal resources. The number of migrants crossing the border has only increased.

For now, the Supreme Court has for now kept Trump-era restrictions, often known as Title 42 in reference to a 1944 public health law, in place, after Biden moved to stop them. end and that Republicans sued in response. Title 42 was invoked to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but there have always been criticisms that the restrictions were used as a pretext by then-President Donald Trump to seal the border.

Biden has yet to outline systemic changes to handle an expected influx of migrants should health restrictions end. And the president is limited in what he can do without changing immigration law. But in Congress, a bipartisan immigration bill was buried shortly before Republicans took control of the House.

Biden made his comment on the upcoming visit during a stop in Kentucky at a highway bridge that receives federal dollars under the bipartisan infrastructure law.

Trump has visited the US side of the border several times as president, including a trip to McAllen, Texas, where he claimed Mexico would pay for the border wall.

American taxpayers ended up covering the costs. Mexican leaders had flatly rejected the idea when Trump pressed them early on. “NO,” tweeted Enrique Peña Nieto, then President of Mexico, in May 2018. “Mexico will NEVER pay for a wall. Not now, never. Sincerely, Mexico (all of us).

Long reported from Washington.


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