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Trump, Biden to make dueling trips to southern border

President Biden and former President Trump will both travel to the southern border Thursday, underscoring the key role immigration and border security is set to play in November’s elections.

Biden will visit Brownsville, Texas, as he presses Congress for action to address the flow of migrants into the United States and weighs executive action of his own to deal with the issue.

The president will meet with Border Patrol agents and local leaders and call on congressional Republicans to take up a bipartisan border security agreement put forward by the Senate, a White House official said.

The trip will coincide with plans for Trump, the likely GOP presidential nominee, to make remarks at the border.

“Biden’s last-minute, insincere attempt to chase President Trump to the border won’t cut it — Americans know Biden is single-handedly responsible for the worst immigration crisis in history and the ensuing Biden Migrant Crime Crisis affecting every community in our Country,” Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt said in a statement.

The record-setting number of apprehensions at the southern border in recent months has been a political liability for Biden, with Republicans blaming the White House for what they view as an immigration crisis.

Trump has hammered Biden over immigration and the border for months and has pledged to carry out a massive deportation operation if he is reelected.

The White House has stressed repeatedly that Biden sent an immigration proposal to lawmakers on his first day in office, and the president has voiced frustration that Congress has failed to take up a recent bipartisan proposal on border security.

Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) led efforts to craft a border security bill unveiled earlier this month that would have given the federal government temporary authority to expel migrants when the average number of daily crossings exceeds a set threshold, end “catch and release,” raise standards for asylum screenings and seek to process claims quicker, among other provisions.

Biden has noted the bill had the approval of the Chamber of Commerce, the head of the Border Patrol union and The Wall Street Journal editorial board.

Trump opposed the bill, arguing that passing the legislation would hurt Republicans politically. Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said the bill was dead on arrival in the House, with dozens of other Republicans in both chambers falling in line to reject the proposal.

The chain of events validated the concerns of Democrats who for weeks had argued Trump and Republicans were against taking any action on the border because doing so would be a political win for Biden.

A Jan. 31 Bloomberg/Morning Consult survey of voters in seven swing states found 61 percent said Biden was at least somewhat responsible for the surge of migration at the southern border, and 52 percent of respondents said they trusted Trump over Biden on immigration.

Updated at 1:27 p.m. ET

Source: The Hill

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