Step.- President Joe Biden inspected a busy port of entry along the US-Mexico border on Sunday, his first visit to the region after two years in office, as Republicans criticize him for being soft on border security as migrants mass cross by form.
Biden watched border agents on the Cordova-America Bridge, known as Libre, demonstrate how they search vehicles for drugs, money and other contraband items. In a sign of deepening political tensions over immigration, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott handed Biden a letter upon arrival saying the “chaos” at the border was a “direct result” of the president’s failure to enforce federal laws.
Biden plans to spend a few hours in the city, which is currently the largest corridor for illegal crossings, largely for Nicaraguans fleeing repression, crime and poverty in their home country. They are among immigrants from four countries now subject to expedited removal under new rules implemented by the Biden administration last week, which drew strong criticism from immigration advocates.
The president met with border officials to discuss migration, as well as increased trafficking in fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, which are on the rise in overdoses in the United States.
Biden was scheduled to visit the El Paso County Immigrant Services Center and meet with non-profit organizations and religious groups that support immigrants coming to the United States. It was not clear whether Biden would speak with any of the migrants.
Biden’s announcement on border security and his visit to the border are aimed at reducing political noise and blunting the impact of an upcoming immigration probe promised by House Republicans. But any lasting solution will require action by a deeply divided Congress, where several attempts to make sweeping changes in recent years have failed.
From El Paso, Biden will continue south to Mexico City, where he and the leaders of Mexico and Canada will meet on Monday and Tuesday for a summit of North American leaders. Immigration is one of the items on the agenda. The challenge facing the United States on its southern border requires cooperation among many countries, a sign that diplomacy will matter as much as America’s domestic policies.
In El Paso, where migrants gather at bus stops and parks before making the trip, Border Patrol agents have tightened security ahead of Biden’s visit.
“I think they’re trying to send a message that they’re going to be checking people’s documented status more consistently, and if they haven’t been processed, they’re going to take it,” Ruben Garcia said. Said, the support group in L passed the Annunciation House.
Migrants and asylum seekers fleeing violence and persecution have increasingly realized that safety in the United States is primarily available to those who have the money or are financially savvy to find someone to take care of them. Huh.
Jose Natera, a Venezuelan migrant in El Paso hoping to seek asylum in Canada, said he has no prospects of finding a US sponsor and is now reluctant to seek asylum in the United States because he fears he will be deported to Mexico .
Mexico is “a terrible country where there is crime, corruption, cartels and even the police persecute you,” he said. “They say those who think of entering illegally won’t have a chance, but at the same time I don’t have any sponsors… I came to this country to work. I didn’t come to play. ”
The number of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border has increased dramatically during Biden’s first two years in office. There were more than 2.38 million stops during the year ending September 30, the first time the number had exceeded 2 million. The administration has struggled to crack down on the crossings, reluctant to take tough measures that would be similar to those of the Trump administration.
The policy changes announced last week are Biden’s biggest move yet to curb illegal border crossings and will turn away thousands of immigrants arriving at the border. Also, 30,000 immigrants a month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela will have the opportunity to come to the United States legally as long as they travel by plane, get a sponsor and pass a background check .
The federal government will also turn back immigrants who do not first seek asylum in the country from which they travel on their way to the United States, and immigrants are asked to fill out a form on a phone app to show up at a port of entry. Can go to Check in at the pre-determined date and time.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters on Air Force One that the administration was trying to “safely and systematically encourage and eliminate trafficking organizations”, adding that the policies “are not a complete ban”, but rather the trauma to migrants that trafficking can create.