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Biden Visiting Southern Border in First Trip as President Amid Record Migration in Region

© AFP 2023 / HERIKA MARTINEZMigrants seeking asylum in the United States ask to let them turn themselves in with Border Patrol agents in the El Paso, Texas, US. border with Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, on December 20, 2022
Migrants seeking asylum in the United States ask to let them turn themselves in with Border Patrol agents in the El Paso, Texas, US. border with Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, on December 20, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.01.2023
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - President Joe Biden will visit the US southern border on Sunday to assess federal immigration enforcement efforts to manage the record-breaking surge of migrants arriving in the United States under his watch.
Biden's political opponents have repeatedly slammed the president for failing to visit the border amid the crisis. Former President Trump last week unveiled his own plan to secure the border, which included strikes on cartels.
The United States has seen two consecutive record breaking years of illegal crossings into its territory since Biden assumed office in January 2021. Well over two million illegal crossings into the United States were recorded in fiscal year 2022, according to Customs and Border Protection data.
400,000 migrants have come to the southern border since October (which is start of fiscal year 2023). During Trump’s last year in office that was how many migrants came all year in his last year, 2020.
Biden last week said his visit to El Paso, Texas is to assess border enforcement operations, meet with the local officials and community leaders, possibly also migrants.
The US president added that he will listen about what US immigration enforcement officials and communities need in order to appropriately manage the influx of migrants arriving on the southern border.
Biden said he intends to convince Republicans in Congress to cooperate with him to help provide more tools that will help alleviate pressure on US federal agencies and border communities feeling the pressure of dealing with the border crisis.
In the previous week, prior to Biden's visit to the southern border, his administration rolled out new measures designed to help deter high migration levels on the border.
Biden's plan includes admitting up to 30,000 migrants from Venezuela, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Cuba each month; admitting up to 20,000 migrant refugees from other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean; providing nearly $23 million to Mexico and countries in Central America to help manage migration in the region; increasing funding to US border cities impacted by the border crisis; and surging immigration judges to the US southern border to help process migrants.
Moreover, Biden's new policy includes a five-year reentry ban for migrants caught making a second unlawful entry into the United States and who are not eligible to be expelled under the Title 42 public health rule that has been used since the Trump era to deter the flow of migrants.

On the Front Line: Biden Border Policies Ineffective so Far

In December, National Border Patrol Council vice president Chris Cabrera told Sputnik that morale among US Border Patrol agents is extremely low as they brace for the border crisis to intensify once Title 42 is lifted, with a final decision expected to be made by the Supreme Court this summer.
The Biden administration claims it has been surging resources to the US southern border to prepare for the lifting of the Title 42 policy. However, Cabrera said there isn't enough manpower to deal with the current crisis.
In late December, a Sputnik correspondent reported that the Biden administration erected a sprawling tent camp in El Paso that will be used to house an anticipated surge of migrants arriving on the US border with Mexico.
The correspondent, in November and December, witnessed tens of thousands of migrants arriving to the US-Mexico border in the Mexican border city of Juarez, more than a thousand migrants lined up each day for more than a week to wait their turn to enter the United States.
According to media reports, the Biden administration expects some 14,000 asylum-seeking migrants to cross the US southern border into the United States if Title 42 is rescinded.
Cabrera, who works in one of the busiest sectors for illegal migration on the southern border known as the Rio Grande Valley, emphasized that the only way to address the crisis on the southern border is through legislative action, but Democrats and Republicans for the most part have failed to make any substantial progress on the issue.
Most migrants coming into the United States illegally are being released into the United States after they are apprehended on the US southern border, Cabrera pointed out.
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