Biden says he intends to visit the U.S.-Mexico border for first time since taking office

Rebecca Shabad
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media, following an event touting economic and infrastructure spending plans, as he departs, at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, in Hebron, Kentucky, January 4, 2023.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he intends to visit the U.S.-Mexico border for the first time since taking office, after nearly two years of Republicans criticizing his administration over the migrant crisis.

Biden revealed the potential trip while speaking to reporters before boarding Air Force One in Kentucky. Asked if he'll be going to the border, Biden said, "That's my intention, we're working out the details now."

The president is scheduled to attend the North American Leaders' Summit in Mexico City on Monday and Tuesday.

Republicans have repeatedly ridiculed Biden for not visiting the southern border while also saying the issue of migrants is a priority for his presidency.

The Biden administration suffered a legal setback on implementing its immigration policies when the Supreme Court decided last month that Title 42 — a Trump-era immigration policy that lets authorities quickly expel asylum-seekers at the border — will remain in effect for now. The administration had sought to end that policy.

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed Title 42 on Tuesday, saying the administration is advancing preparations for when the policy eventually lifts so that officials "manage the border in a secure orderly and humane way."

"To truly fix our broken immigration system though, we need Congress to act," she added. "We saw the president on his first day in office put forth a comprehensive immigration policy, legislation and that he did that to show how important this was, how much of a priority this was for him."

A trip to the border would come as House Republicans are poised to ramp up oversight of the Biden administration, with a particular focus on the border.