According to media reports, President Joe Biden intends to visit the US-Mexico border during his trip to Mexico City next week.
“This is my intention. We are working on the details now,” Biden told reporters on Wednesday during a visit to Kentucky.
He did not say which part of the border he plans to visit, nor did he give a date. As reported by CNN, the final decision on the inclusion in his schedule of a border visit during a trip to Mexico has not yet been made.
The border visit will be Biden’s first since taking office. The Wall Street Journal reported that no new policies would be announced during Biden’s possible border visit.
Biden is scheduled to meet with Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City on January 9 and 10.
Republicans accused Biden of mishandling immigration and border policy and criticized the president for not visiting the 1,951-mile US-Mexico border during his two years in the White House. Texas shares two-thirds of the border with Mexico.
Last month, U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, D-Austin, criticized Biden after the president turned down an offer to visit the border, saying during a trip to Arizona that there were more important things to do. In an interview with a Fox News host, Roy said that visiting the border is “extremely important for the people of Texas and, frankly, for immigrants who are being abused and dying.”
US Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston, said last month in response to Biden’s comment, “We’re all wondering which is more important.”
In fiscal year 2022, US Border Patrol agents had 2.4 million encounters with migrants at the southwestern border, a record number.
The president’s potential cross-border visit comes after the U.S. Supreme Court recently ordered the Biden administration to keep in place a health emergency order known as Section 42, which immigration officials have used for nearly three years to quickly deny migrants including those seeking asylum in the southwestern border.
Section 42 was scheduled to expire Dec. 21 before Chief Justice John G. Roberts heard an emergency request from the Arizona-led coalition of 19 states, including Texas, to end the administration’s efforts to end the health order.