US President Joe Biden visited the US-Mexico border in El Paso on Sunday, his first visit to the southern border since taking office. Biden spent several hours in the city and met with border enforcement personnel, but did not appear to interact with or meet any migrants. Reporters present at the visit did not see any migrants at the migrant respite center that Biden visited or along the motorcade routes.
A senior administration official told CNN that there were no migrants at the center when Biden arrived and that the visit was scheduled when border crossings had already dropped drastically in El Paso. Despite this, hundreds of migrants, including children, were living on the streets of El Paso after crossing into the US, and nearly 1,000 additional migrants were in federal custody in detention facilities in the city. Biden’s visit came following calls from Republicans, Democrats in Congress, and Democratic mayors who have criticized the president for failing to address record levels of border crossings.
Biden’s visit to the US-Mexico border was seen as an effort to address the increasing number of migrants, including families and unaccompanied children, crossing the border and straining the resources of border officials and communities. The visit also came amid criticism from some of Biden’s allies that his administration’s approach to the border crisis has been too focused on enforcement and not enough on addressing the root causes of migration, such as violence and poverty in Central America.
In his remarks during the visit, Biden emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach to addressing the crisis, including addressing the root causes of migration and providing assistance to Central American countries. He also pledged to provide every necessary resource to address the crisis at the border.