Biden Arrives in El Paso to Tour US Southern Border For First Time Since Taking Office

© AFP 2023 / JIM WATSONUS President Joe Biden speaks with US Customs and Border Protection officers as he visits the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, on January 8, 2023
US President Joe Biden speaks with US Customs and Border Protection officers as he visits the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, on January 8, 2023 - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.01.2023
EL PASO, Texas (Sputnik) - President Joe Biden arrived in El Paso, Texas, on Sunday afternoon to tour the US southern border amid record-breaking numbers of migrants illegally entering the United States since he took office, a Sputnik correspondent reported.
Biden was greeted by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser.
Abbott told reporters at the airport after greeting Biden that he told the US President about the urgent needs required to address the border crises. The two spoke for a long moment on the tarmac of the airport.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also joined Biden on his visit to the border.
Last week, Biden said his visit to the border in El Paso is to assess border enforcement operations, meet with local officials and community leaders to discuss their needs as they cope to manage the influx of migrants.
The Biden administration recently rolled out new measures designed to help deter high migration levels on the border.
Biden's plan includes admitting up to 30,000 migrants from Venezuela, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Cuba each month; admitting up to 20,000 migrant refugees from other countries in Latina America and the Caribbean; proving nearly $23 million to Mexico and countries in Central America to help manage migration in the region; increasing funding to US border cities impacted by the border crisis; and surging immigration judges to the US southern border to help process migrants.
Moreover, Biden's new policy includes a five-year reentry ban for migrants caught making a second unlawful entry into the United States and who are not eligible to be expelled under the Title 42 public health rule that has been used since the Trump era to deter the flow of migrants.
In December, National Border Patrol Council vice president Chris Cabrera told Sputnik that morale among US Border Patrol agents is extremely low as they brace for the border crisis to intensify once Title 42 is lifted, which a final decision is expected to be made by the Supreme Court this summer.
The Biden administration claims it has been surging resources to the US southern border to prepare for the lifting of the Title 42 policy. However, Cabrera said there isn't enough manpower to deal with the current crisis.
In late December, a Sputnik correspondent reported that the Biden administration erected a sprawling tent camp in El Paso that will be used to house an anticipated surge of migrants arriving on the US border with Mexico. The correspondent, in November and December, witnessed tens of thousands of migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border in the Mexican border city of Juarez, more than a thousand migrants lined up each day for more than a week to wait their turn to enter the United States.
According to media reports, the Biden administration expects some 14,000 asylum-seeking migrants to cross the US southern border into the United States if Title 42 is rescinded.
Cabrera, who works in one of the busiest sectors for illegal migration on the southern border known as the Rio Grande Valley, emphasized that the only way to address the crisis on the southern border is through legislative action, but Democrats and Republicans for the most part have failed to make any substantial progress on the issue.
Most migrants coming into the United States illegally are being released into the United States after they are apprehended on the US southern border, Cabrera pointed out.
The United States has seen two consecutive record breaking years of illegal crossings into its territory since Biden assumed office in January 2021. Well over two million illegal crossings into the United States were recorded in fiscal year 2022, according to Customs and Border Protection data.
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