Biden at the Border

Hailey Kim, Reporter

President Joe Biden made a historic visit to the US-Mexico border on January 8—his first since taking office. 

He arrived in El Paso, Texas, where he was greeted by Governor Greg Abbott, who has been a vocal critic of Biden’s immigration policies. 

The visit, which lasted for about four hours, aimed to “assess border enforcement operations and meet with local elected officials and community leaders,” according to the White House.

Upon his arrival, Abbott said, “The president who caused the chaos at the border needed to be here. It just so happens he’s two years and about $20 billion too late.” 

The visit to the border was politically fraught, as Republicans have accused Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris of neglecting border security. 

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel held a press conference in the Rio Grande Valley with community leaders to criticize the president’s “disastrous border security plan and its effects on Texas’ border communities.”

Despite the criticism, President Biden spent the next four hours visiting key locations along the border. 

“They need a lot of resources. We’re going to get it for them,” he said. 

Biden met with local officials and community leaders to discuss the challenges they face. 

He also made an unscheduled stop near an 18-foot-tall border fence along the border with Mexico.

The Biden administration recently announced a set of new policies that would allow 30,000 migrants per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to enter the country and be able to work legally for up to two years, as long as they apply from their home country and can find someone in the US to support them economically.

“President Biden’s visit to the border shows that he is taking the issue of immigration seriously and is committed to finding a solution,” PVHS sophomore Isabella Juelle said. 

“But there is still a lot of work to be done and we hope that the president will continue to engage with local leaders and work towards a comprehensive immigration reform.”

The president’s visit to El Paso was just the first step in addressing the complex issue of immigration. 

Biden is scheduled to meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the North American Leaders’ Summit.