President Joe Biden visited the border between Texas and Mexico for the first time during his presidency on January 8, 2023. He spoke to the border patrol about his future plans to help tone down immigration violence. We all know that the 2024 elections are coming up, so the question remains: could this visit be a political move for Biden’s reelection campaign?
At the Airport:
President Biden arrived at the El Paso airport on Sunday, January 8th. Immediately after landing, he was greeted by the El Paso governor Greg Abbott. They shook hands and then Abbott handed Biden a letter. This letter is made up of a list of actions that could be taken to secure the border and regulate the number of immigrants migrating into the United States. When reporters asked Governor Abbott about his interaction with the President he stated “He said he wanted to work with us on it… He was cordial,”
For a very long time immigration control has been one of the U.S. top priorities and the debate of what to do with these immigrants is everywhere. Over the past few years, the number of immigrants trying to cross the border to America illegally has grown tremendously, with the highest number of border encounters in 2021.
Immigrants from all over the world have been coming to the U.S. to try and find sanctuary in places such as New York, Florida, Chicago, and Texas. During the holidays these numbers spiked, putting urgency on border patrol. In response to the current distress in Texas, “Biden announced a border policy plan that will allow 30,000 migrants per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to enter the U.S. and work legally for up to two years.”
During this visit, he met with the border patrol to talk about all the current issues emerging on this side of the border. Authorities at the border reported that there has been an increase in gang violence, as well as thousands of migrants sleeping in a church by the border, many of whom don’t fit inside and have been sleeping on the streets outside. When Biden’s visit was complete the President stated “They need a lot of resources. We’re going to get it for them.”
The People’s ideas on Biden’s new policy:
After announcing his new policy, many people are unhappy with it; they criticized his plan and wondered if it is really the best way to deal with immigration. Both Republicans and Democrats are against it. Speaking for the Republican party, the Governor of El Paso Gerg Abbott stated “He needs to step up and take swift action, including reimbursing the state of Texas toward the money we spent but providing more resources for the federal government to do its job. Also, this is nothing but for show unless he begins to enforce the immigration laws that already exist.” Abbot also said “Those changes will probably do nothing more than entice more illegal immigration. You have to implement the policies in my letter to stop illegal immigration and to begin the process he wants to work on.”
So, it is clear the governor is against this new policy, and that Republicans are upset it took Biden so long to respond to this issue. Perhaps surprisingly, the Democrats think that Biden’s new policy is a humanitarian disgrace. Speaking for the Democrats is Dylan Corbett, the executive director of the Hope Border Institute in El Paso. When interviewed, he stated, “Rather than putting our country on a sure path to fully restoring asylum at the border, these new actions entrench a dangerous, ineffective and inhumane policy.” Overall, both political parties think this is a bad move on President Biden’s part.
After two years of avoiding immigration issues in the United States, Biden finally tries to make it right by creating a policy he thinks will make everyone happy. But he was wrong. No one is happy with this new policy, and that might mean trouble for him in the reelections. Will trying to please everyone unlimitedly jeopardize his chance at being reelected? Why act now after two years? Would it have been better if he did nothing at all? We’ll have to wait till the 2024 elections to see what will happen next for President Biden.