Texas governor greets president with scathing letter
President Joe Biden on Jan. 8 made his first visit to the U.S.–Mexico border since taking office two years ago to assess the growing illegal immigration crisis and to review enforcement operations.
After seeing the conditions firsthand and speaking with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, Biden said: “They need a lot of resources. We’re going to get it for them.”
Biden spent several hours touring the border in El Paso, Texas, which has become a major entry point for those aiming to enter the United States illegally. The president, who visited the El Paso County Migrant Services Center, also was scheduled to meet with nonprofits and faith-based charitable organizations that help illegal immigrants when they arrive in the United States.
He met with border personnel, observed demonstrations of how they search vehicles, saw parts of the city affected by the problem, and also viewed part of the border wall.
It was unclear if Biden spoke with any illegal border-crossers.
The situation at the border has been a source of great contention, as evidenced by Biden’s reception from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. According to border officials, a record 2.2 million illegal immigrants were apprehended at the border in fiscal 2022, which ended Sept. 30, 2022.
Abbott hand-delivered a letter to Biden that began with, “Your visit to our southern border with Mexico today is $20 billion too late and two years too late.”
The letter lists five steps that the governor wants Biden to take to address illegal immigration. These include fully implementing the Trump-era Remain in Mexico policy, continuing Title 42 expulsions, stricter enforcement of existing immigration laws, construction of the border wall, and the designation of Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations.
When asked about the letter on Jan. 8, Biden said he had yet to read it.