National News

Biden to make his 2nd visit to southern border on the same day as Trump

todayFebruary 26, 2024


Alex Wong/Getty Images

(EAGLE PASS, TEXAS) — President Joe Biden will make his second visit to the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday to make another push for Congress to pass a bipartisan border deal, the White House announced Monday.

Former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, will also deliver remarks at the border on Thursday, sources familiar with his trip told ABC News. Trump will visit Eagle Pass, Texas — a flashpoint for immigration confrontation.

Biden will visit Brownsville, Texas. He last visited the border in January 2023 when he stopped in El Paso. He faced immense criticism from Republicans for not going to the border as migrant encounters reached a record high in December.

In Brownsville, Biden will meet with Border Patrol agents, law enforcement and local leaders, according to a White House official.

“He will discuss the urgent need to pass the Senate bipartisan border security agreement, the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border in decades,” the official said. “He will reiterate his calls for congressional Republicans to stop playing politics and to provide the funding needed for additional U.S. Border Patrol agents, more asylum officers, fentanyl detection technology and more.”

Biden has been urging Congress to pass the bipartisan immigration deal, which includes changes to asylum protocols, funding to bolster immigration review and hire additional Border Patrol agents as well as new emergency powers for officials.

The deal was the result of months of negotiations after House Republicans demanded foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel be tied to immigration reform. However, Speaker Mike Johnson called the proposal “dead on arrival” and contends it doesn’t do enough to enhance border security.

Republicans remain under pressure from Trump to reject it as he looks to make immigration a key campaign issue.

Biden on Friday pressed Republicans to “show a little spine” and pass the bill even if they “reap the wrath” their colleagues to get this bill to his desk.

“Folks, doing nothing is not an option. Compromise is part of the process,” Biden said about the deal when speaking to governors at the White House. “I didn’t get everything I wanted in that deal. We didn’t deal with DREAMers. We didn’t do a number of things I think we should do. But you know it’s a positive step, a significant step.”

Amid the impasse on Capitol Hill, Biden is considering executive action to tighten asylum restrictions, an administration official told ABC News. Speaker Johnson criticized the potential action as “election year gimmicks.”

Biden is not expected to announce any new executive actions on Thursday, according to a source familiar with the plans.

Biden faces headwinds on immigration, which has emerged as a top 2024 election concern for voters. An ABC News poll conducted earlier this year found Biden’s approval rating on his handling of the border stood at just 18%.

In a post on his social media platform on Monday, Trump — who has ramped up his anti-immigrant rhetoric this cycle — continued his claim that foreign countries are sending criminals to the U.S. and attacked the Biden administration as being unable to handle migrants.

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