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HomeGeneralBorder City Residents Await Solutions in Rare Visits by Biden, Trump

Border City Residents Await Solutions in Rare Visits by Biden, Trump

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President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump visited the southern border on Thursday, February 29, 2024. Their visit was in a dramatic split-screen moment as the 2024 presidential campaign ramps up over an issue that has confounded administrations of both parties for decades: immigration.

A picture of Biden at Rio Grande
Source: FoxNews/X

Biden’s briefing from border officials in the Rio Grande began moments after Trump began his remarks in Eagle Pass. He thanked border agents and said he would get them more resources “come hell or high water.”

As Biden arrived, people in the Rio Grande kicked off Charro Days. They poured into the streets as they have done since 1938 to celebrate all things Mexican in Brownsville. Around the same time, the president met with Border Patrol and local law enforcement officials. 

He pivots toward strict border enforcement as immigration becomes one of his biggest re-election liabilities. Similarly, Trump arrived in Eagle Pass, where state-run border enforcement efforts have turned the city park into a militarized zone.

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ALSO READ: FBI Discovered Classified Documents in Trump and Biden’s Home, Both Face Different Investigations

However, residents hope these two visits will help define the visions of the American immigration system. In Eagle Pass, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and his border initiative, Operation Lone Star, have framed the border as a dangerous beachhead in an immigration fight that now spills into cities across the country.

During his speech, Biden addressed the migrant crisis rocking the US. “It’s long past time to act,” he said, adding that border control “desperately” needs more resources. Also, Biden directly appealed to Trump, asking him to join him in telling Congress to pass a bill.

The bill, which tanked after Trump rallied his allies in Congress against it, was to address the border issue. “You and I know it’s the toughest, most efficient, most effective border security bill this country’s ever seen,” Biden said. “So instead of playing politics with the issue, why don’t we just get together and get it done?”

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POLL—Should the U.S. Government Create a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants?

Furthermore, Biden touted the bipartisan border bill as “a win for the American people,” calling it a “truly bipartisan initiative.” He urged the Senate to reconsider the bill, asking senators to “set politics aside.” Also, he called for House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to put the bill on the floor.

“We need to act,” Biden said, adding that Republicans in Congress needed to “show a little spine.” However, Trump’s national press secretary hit back at Biden’s appeal. “Instead of blaming everyone but himself, Joe Biden should take responsibility for the border crisis,” Karoline Leavitt said. 

“For the deaths and destruction that his policies have caused, say Laken Riley’s name, and use his executive power to shut the border down today.” In his remarks, Trump mentioned the death of Riley, a 22-year-old  graduate nursing student who died in February 2024.

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ALSO READ: “We Don’t Have the Money, Close the Border!” Critics Knock Biden Administration Over Border Crisis

Trump said the death of Riley, who died while jogging near the University of Georgia, was “barbaric.” In addition, he referred to her as “a beautiful young woman.” Furthermore, he revealed that he spoke to Riley’s parents. “They’re incredible people that are devastated beyond belief,” he said.

Trump also called the migrant crisis a “Joe Biden invasion” and a “vicious violation of our country.” The trip to the border was Biden’s second since he took office. His first was to El Paso in January 2023. This time, he visited Brownsville, a border town in the Rio Grande Valley that felt the migrant crisis up close.

However, critics of the administration criticized the visit. They claim Biden visited Brownsville after the dire consequences of the migrant influx have shifted elsewhere. According to Customs and Border Protection, more immigrants are crossing at other parts of the border, such as Arizona and Eagle Pass.

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