President Joe Biden said he intends to visit the southern border for the first time in his presidency after facing growing criticism over the United States’ migrant crisis.
“That’s my intention. We’re working out the details now,” Biden told reporters Wednesday about visiting the border during his trip to Mexico for the North American Leaders’ Summit next week.
Republicans have criticized Biden for months for failing to visit the border, which saw record levels of illegal immigration in 2022. Migrant interactions with agents totaled 313,681 in December, which broke November’s record-setting level. The last fiscal year saw a total 2.4 million encounters.
The Biden administration last month issued a gag order barring border agents from sharing immigration data with media outlets without prior approval. Vice President Kamala Harris, whom Biden made White House border czar, has blamed Republicans for the historic crisis.
Biden has dismissed the importance of a visit, saying during a trip to Arizona in early December that there were “more important things going on.”
The potential visit comes as the Supreme Court considers reversing Title 42, a Trump-era rule that allowed agents to turn away illegal immigrants because of the pandemic.
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