President Joe Biden will deliver a speech on immigration and border security ahead of a planned visit next week to the US-Mexico border – his first trip there since taking office – as part of his meeting in Mexico City with the leaders of Mexico and Canada.
The event is scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m. ET. Look in the player above.
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.
Biden’s increased focus on the border also comes as the president prepares for a 2024 re-election bid. His only declared potential rival, Donald Trump, has risen to the top of the GOP ranks by animating voters in base of the party with its intransigent positions on immigration.
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 given over to cartels, smugglers and human traffickers,” tweeted Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., who criticized the policies. administration.
Among Republicans’ border security complaints 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.
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. Drugs are too easy to move in small, hard-to-detect quantities.
Drug trafficking and immigration are expected to be 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 migration challenge by working 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 left Trump-era restrictions, often known as Title 42 in reference to a 1944 public health law, in place after Biden moved to end them and 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 Trump to close the border.