Sign up for The Brief, The Texas Tribune’s daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.
President Joe Biden intends to visit the U.S.-Mexico border during his trip to Mexico City next week, according to news reports.
“That’s my intention. We’re working out the details now,” Biden told reporters on Wednesday during a visit to Kentucky.
He didn’t say which part of the border he plans to visit or reveal the date. According to CNN, a final decision to add a border visit to his schedule during his trip to Mexico has not been made.
A border visit would be the first for Biden since he took office. The Wall Street Journal reported that there would be no new policies announced during Biden’s possible border visit.
Biden is scheduled to meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City on Jan. 9 and 10.
Republicans have accused Biden of mishandling immigration and border policy and have criticized the president for not visiting the 1,951-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border during his two years in the White House. Texas shares two-thirds of the border with Mexico.
Last month, U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Austin, blasted Biden after the president dismissed the suggestion that he should visit the border, saying during a trip to Arizona that there are more important things to do. In an interview with a Fox News host, Roy said visiting the border is “critically important to the people of Texas and frankly to the immigrants that are getting abused and dying.”
U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston, said last month in response to Biden’s comment: “We’re all left wondering what’s more important.”
In the fiscal year 2022, U.S. Border Patrol agents had 2.4 million encounters with migrants at the southwest border — a record-breaking number.
The president’s potential border visit comes after the U.S. Supreme Court recently ordered the Biden administration to keep in place the emergency health order known as Title 42, which immigration officials have used for nearly three years to quickly turn away migrants, including those seeking asylum, at the southwest border.
Title 42 was scheduled to end on Dec. 21 before Chief Justice John G. Roberts heard an emergency request from an Arizona-led coalition of 19 states, including Texas, to halt the administration’s efforts to stop using the health order.