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Biden Blames Republicans for Border Crisis

President Joe Biden speaks to reporters during a Feb. 8, 2024 press conference. White House
President Joe Biden speaks to reporters during a Feb. 8, 2024 press conference. White House

By: Bethany Blankley | The Center Square

In his first trip to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas since he took office, President Joe Biden blamed Republicans for the border crisis that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, 25 Republican governors, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson and many others argue he created.

Biden arrived in Brownsville on Thursday afternoon and met with local law enforcement, Border Patrol agents and Democratic officials around the same time that former President Donald Trump arrived in Del Rio, Texas, and met with Abbott and Republican officials.

It is the first time in Texas history two presidents – one former, one sitting – have visited the state on the same day. The two are touting opposite policies that led to opposite results, blaming the other for border policies.

Biden was accompanied by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who was recently impeached by the U.S. House over the border crisis, as well as other Democratic officials.

Biden chose to go to an area of the border that has seen a rapid decline in illegal entries due to Abbott’s Operation Lone Star border security efforts. Texas border czar Mike Banks told The Center Square there used to be 3,700 illegal border crossings a day in the area. After OLS expanded concertina wire and other barriers, illegal entries dropped to about 12 a day.

Biden arrived at the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport, which his administration has used to fly thousands of illegal foreign nationals north. The airport has been a target of human smuggling operations thwarted by Texas Department of Public Safety officers, The Center Square has reported.

Since Biden’s taken office, more than 11 million border crossers have been reported to illegally enter the U.S., including gotaways, the greatest number in U.S. history, The Center Square has reported. In an attempt to strengthen border security efforts, the U.S. House passed HR 2, a border security bill filed by Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas.

The Democratic-controlled Senate ignored it and negotiated a bill with U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, which would legalize illegal entry and policies implemented by Mayorkas, critics argue.

On Thursday, the White House reiterated Biden’s call for House Republicans to pass the Senate bill. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, has said the bill is dead on arrival.

“Our bipartisan border security deal would make our nation safer, secure our border, and treat people humanely while preserving legal immigration,” Biden said. “Congressional Republicans pleaded for border action. We delivered. Now, they're playing politics at the expense of border security.”

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