Biden and Trump make trips to Texas to discuss border crisis

The border crisis in Texas was the backdrop for the presidential campaign Thursday.

President Joe Biden visited Brownsville on the southern tip of Texas, and former President Donald Trump went to Eagle Pass, where the state is building a base camp for border operations.

The border blame game was on full display.

Biden and Trump recognize the border is a top priority to voters in November.

According to an AP-NORC poll in January, the share of voters concerned about immigration rose to 35% from 27% last year. Fifty-five percent of Republicans say the government needs to focus on immigration in 2024, while 22% of Democrats listed immigration as a priority. That’s up from 45% and 14%, respectively, from December 2022.

While the subject is the same, their messages are very different.

"It’s long past time to act," Biden said.

"It’s a military operation, this is like a war," Trump said.

Trump toured state-led border security efforts that have ramped up in recent months.

Meanwhile, Biden tried to put pressure on Congress to act.

While the President used the trip to try and push Congress toward a solution, Republican officials lay the blame with the executive.

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Biden blamed Trump for directing Republicans to block a bipartisan border bill.

Republicans in the House, many who demanded a bill, said it did not go far enough.

Biden had this message for the former president: "Instead of playing politics with the issue, instead of telling members of Congress to block this legislation, join me, or I'll join you in telling the Congress to pass this bipartisan border security bill."

Eagle Pass has been one of the most visible points in the border crisis and a weekly backdrop for Republican politicians. 

"Crooked Joe, the blood of countless victims," Trump said. "Three years ago, we had the most secure border in history."

Biden was joined by the embattled DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, but even the venues are a point of political dispute, as illegal crossings in Brownsville appear to be down significantly.


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Data from a Customs and Border Patrol source to FOX News showed, over the last five days, Eagle Pass had more than 2,000 apprehensions, compared to less than 50 in Brownsville.

At Trump's event, Texas Governor Greg Abbott took credit for the Texas National Guard fixing the issue in Brownsville, as the Texas National Guard and Texas DPS have nudged out the federal government by rolling out razor wire, buoys, and other hardened infrastructure that's led to court battles with the Biden Administration.

"I don’t think he is on the border right now, he is in some sanitized location, not here with razor wire," he said.

Texas officials have argued Biden could act without congressional approval to toughen policies at the border.

The bipartisan border bill would have provided funding to hire more than 1,000 border agents, judges, and other resources.

Biden told the crowd that he and Trump work for the voters, and they should come together to support a compromise.

"It’s time to step up and provide them with more personnel and capability. We also need more immigration judges to deal with a backlog of two million cases," Biden said.

It is unlikely there will be a bipartisan border bill passed anytime soon.

While Trump did not discuss it during this visit, he has laid out new immigration proposals, even the idea of "ideological screenings" for migrants and an expansion of his travel ban.