President Joe Biden visits the US-Mexico border on Sunday, his first visit as president after two years of criticism from Republicans, who have criticized him for being soft on border security while migrant numbers shoot up given.
Biden is scheduled to spend a few hours in El Paso, Texas, which is currently the largest corridor for illegal crossings, due in large part to Nicaraguans fleeing repression, crime and poverty in their home country. They are among immigrants from four countries who have been subjected to expedited removal under new rules put in place by the Biden administration last week.
The president is expected to meet with border officials to discuss immigration, as well as the rise in smuggling of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, which are causing overdoses to skyrocket in the United States.
Biden will visit the Migrant Services Center in El Paso and meet with non-profit organizations and religious groups supporting incoming migrants. It is unclear whether Biden will speak to any migrants.
From El Paso, Biden will travel to Mexico City, where he and the leaders of Mexico and Canada will meet on Monday and Tuesday for a summit. Immigration is one of the items on the agenda.
In El Paso, where migrants gather at bus stops and parks ahead of the trip, the Border Patrol has tightened security for Biden’s visit.
Morgan Lee in Santa Fe, New Mexico contributed to this report.