Biden Visits the Border

By: Zara Khan—Correspondent

President Joe Biden finally made his trip to the US-Mexico border to confront the migrant crisis that initially began in 2014. 

Biden stopped in the city of El Paso where he was set to meet President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Both presidents found common ground on migration, economic integration, and fentanyl interdiction. Two years of back-and-forth with Republicans over the Biden administration immigration policy led Biden to the city of El Paso.

“You are the first President of the United States in a long time who has not built even one meter of wall. We thank you for that, sir,” Lopez Obrador told Biden.

Biden’s conference with President Andres Manuel Lopez was a required advance in the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico.  “It was a significant shift in tone, ” said Rafael Fernandez De Castro, a director of the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at University of California San Diego. 

“The personal relationship of Biden and López Obrador is going full circle, from being kind of distant two years ago, with AMLO taking a long time to recognize Biden and congratulate him, to now that he fully embraced him in a very cordial and political way,” said Fernandez De Castro, Director, International Studies Department, Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM).

The Biden Administration as well as Republicans are cheering on the future of Title 42, a Trump immigration policy that continued through Biden. The policy allows border agents to promptly expel migrants at official points of entry during public health emergencies. 

El Paso Times writer Lauren Villagran said the border patrol’s ability to expel unauthorized migrants under Title 42 has been limited by which migrants Mexico is willing to accept, and how many. “The rate of Title 42 expulsions can also be influenced by the demographic makeup of who is crossing where,” reported Villagran.

With little to say to the media, Biden told a pool reporter help is coming for American personnel working the foreground. “They need a lot of resources. We’re going to get it for them,” said Biden.

Colleen Long, associated press at PBS NewsHour said that for years immigration has been a serious point of conflict. “This exposes both the dysfunction of the U.S. system as well as the turmoil within migrants’ home countries that has pushed many to flee.”

Immigration has been a prominent conflict for years in the U.S.-Mexican Border. The policy changes announced this past week are Biden’s biggest move yet to contain illegal border crossings and will turn away tens of thousands of migrants arriving at the border. At the same time, 30,000 migrants per month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela will get the chance to come to the U.S. legally as long as they travel by plane, get a sponsor and pass background checks” said Long.

Despite a late visit, Biden’s Trip to the border confronted issues that circulated the U.S. and Mexico for an extended amount of time. Upon meeting, both Presidents were delighted to cooperate and establish an authentic relationship with one another.

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