Biden plans to visit the US-Mexico border for the first time in his presidency

WASHINGTON. President Joe Biden said Wednesday he plans to visit the border during his trip to Mexico next week.

Speaking to reporters after the Kentucky event, Biden told reporters he “intends” to visit the border on his way to Mexico City for the North American leaders’ summit.

“We are working on the details now,” he said, without specifying where he would go at the border.

Biden also told reporters he plans to give a border security speech on Thursday.

“I’m just going to see what happens,” Biden said during a trip to the border.

This is Biden’s first trip to the border as president.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisles have consistently criticized Biden for not visiting the border, even though ports of entry have seen an influx of migrants.

Republicans, who took control of the House of Representatives in the November midterm elections, have vowed to hold the administration accountable for what they see as failed border policies.

It wasn’t immediately clear where on the border, which stretches nearly 2,000 miles, Biden would go. But El Paso, Texas, has become the epicenter of a humanitarian immigration crisis in recent months.

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Tens of thousands of migrants cross the El Paso border each month, including more than 50,000 in October and November.

El Paso Mayor Oscar Lizer declared a state of emergency last month after the border patrol released more than 10,000 asylum seekers and other migrants in one week. Hundreds slept on city streets.

Many of these migrants released by the border guard are not easily removed to Mexico or their countries of origin under Section 42.

Biden has already received praise from some members of Congress for his decision to visit the border.

Congressman Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Laredo who has urged the administration to take more aggressive action to control the border, tweeted to the president: “I welcome your visit to our southern border.”

“Our frontier communities are in a crisis the magnitude of which can only be understood by seeing it first hand,” said Cuellar, Texas’s most senior congressman from the frontier district. “Thank you for taking the first step in resolving this situation.”

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Contributing: John Moritz

Connect with Rebecca Morin on Twitter @RebeccaMorin_

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