President Biden departed El Paso Sunday afternoon following a brief visit to the border – his first since taking office and first verified border visit of his long political career.
In the span of about four hours, the president walked a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border and inspected a busy port of entry where border officers demonstrated how they search vehicles for drugs, money and other contraband.
US President Joe Biden speaks with a member of the US Border Patrol as they walk along the US-Mexico border fence in El Paso, Texas, on January 8, 2023.
(JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Image)
Still, some critics chided the president for not visiting areas most impacted by illegal border crossings. During an appearance on Fox Report with Jon Scott, Brandon Judd, President for the National Border Patrol Council, said Biden failed to visit the most problem-ridden areas.
“You can look across the ports of entry on the entire southwest border, and that’s not where we’re seeing the illegal immigration. We’re seeing the illegal immigration between the ports of entry,” he said. “That’s the Border Patrol. That’s the component of CBP that handles all of this. He did not have any scheduled visits with them.”
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He added: “You’re never going to be able to develop true policies and programs and operations unless you’re willing to see exactly what is going on. And he refused to do that.”
Fox News Digital has reached out to the White House and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for comment.
Biden himself recently said he had “more important things” to do than visit the border despite the historic security crisis there.
FILE: U.S. military guard El Paso’s border with Mexico, seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022.
(AP Photo/Christian Chavez, File)
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Biden’s announcement on border security and his visit to the border are partly aimed at quelling the political noise and blunting the impact of upcoming investigations into immigration promised by House Republicans. But any enduring solution will require action by the sharply divided Congress, where multiple efforts to enact sweeping changes have failed in recent years.
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From El Paso, Biden was to continue south to Mexico City, where he and the leaders of Mexico and Canada will gather on Monday and Tuesday for a North American leaders summit. Immigration is among the items on the agenda.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.