For the first time in his presidency, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden plan to be in fairly close proximity to the U.S. southern border with Mexico on Sunday.
The stated purpose of the trip is to console the grieving families and members of the Uvalde, Texas, community, where a mass shooting took place at an elementary school Tuesday that left 19 students and two teachers dead.
That is certainly a worthy reason for the Bidens to travel there, with so many reeling in unimaginable pain.
However, it should be noted that Uvalde is in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Del Rio Sector.
In fact, the south Texas city is about an hour’s drive, and obviously much less by helicopter, to the border towns of Del Rio and Eagle Pass, right in the epicenter of the current border migrant crisis his policies created.
There’s no excuse for the president, who apparently has never visited the border during his half-century in federal office, not to go.
BREAKING: For the third day in a row, another massive group of approximately 150 has crossed illegally at this same spot on private property here in Eagle Pass, TX. This has happened every day since Wednesday during the late morning hours. Cubans, Venezuelans, Colombians @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/WpMlioa33u
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) May 13, 2022
Last fall, The Washington Post dug up a brief drive-by view of the border Biden saw while driving to a 2008 campaign event in southern New Mexico. Come on, man!
Do you think Biden should travel to the border?
Besides, the crisis is now.
So far this fiscal year (which began in October), there are been nearly 1.3 million encounters. We’re on track to surpass 2021’s record over 1.7 million apprehensions.
By way of comparison, during the last year of President Donald Trump’s time in office in 2020, there were just over 400,000 apprehensions. In 2019, the worst of his four years as president, there were about 851,500.
Why such the drastic change under Biden? The answer is clear.
On his first day in office, the 46th president ended construction on the southern border wall and shut down the “Migrant Protection Protocols,” also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, prompting the crisis.
More recently, the current administration has sought to end Title 42, which another federal judge blocked. The public health policy related to the COVID-19 pandemic allows for the instant removal of migrants without officials hearing their asylum claims.
All of Biden’s actions taken together have had the impact of flashing a big green light to any who want to come to the United States from around the world, saying, “The time is now. Do it!”
For border communities like Del Rio and Eagle Pass, not to mention the nation’s Border Patrol officers, the strain of Biden’s policies has been unacceptable. The very least he owes them is a face-to-face explanation of why he believes his decisions are right.
At a joint news conference on Monday, GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas, a Democrat, urged Biden to come to the border and see first-hand the chaos his policies are creating.
“One thing Americans believe in is the rule of law and to have a president of the United States who refuses to enforce the rule of law is causing the American public to lose faith in that president,” Abbott said.
His administration has “no interest in talking to Texas or talking to leaders who are actually on the border. And remember, Joe Biden himself has never even been to the border,” the governor added.
“We’re dealing with a crisis. It is man-made by President Biden, who doesn’t want to take the time to even come to the border or talk to the governor of a border state,” Abbott said.
Salinas stated that Biden’s policies are impacting the safety and security of his city.
“Right now, we don’t have that 100 percent because we have thousands of people crossing from over 100 countries into our community,” the mayor said. “We do not know who these people are. I constantly get calls from constituents that are worried because they have groups of people walking through their neighborhood, and that is something that is not normal.”
Biden receives among his lowest job approval ratings for his handling of immigration. Just 38 percent back his policies according to the latest Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Research poll.
What he should do is re-institute Trump’s border policies.
He won’t, so at the very least he needs to man up and go the border and justify his decisions to those most affected by them.