Republicans slammed President Biden’s roughly three-hour Sunday tour of the southern border as a “box-checking exercise,” saying the visit was woefully short and neglected the areas where the immigration crisis is most severe.
Biden landed in El Paso, Texas, his first visit to the southern border since becoming president nearly two years ago, before jetting off on Air Force One for a summit in Mexico City with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Congratulations to President Biden for finally figuring out where the border is, two years into his presidency. Wouldn’t have anything to do with House Republicans kicking off our border oversight plans this week, would it?” Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) posted on Twitter.
Rep. Chip Roy, a Republican colleague of Crenshaw’s from Texas, predicted Biden’s visit will not result in any meaningful efforts to remedy the situation.
“The trip by @POTUS to El Paso is nothing but a box-checking exercise combined with propaganda … and will do nothing to stop the flood at our border because the administration does not want to – and so is refusing to,” Roy said on Twitter.
Crenshaw and Roy’s comments echo the sentiments expressed in a letter Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott hand-delivered to the president when he arrived in El Paso on Sunday.
“Your visit to our southern border with Mexico today is $20 billion too little and two years too late,” Abbott wrote. “On behalf of all Americans, I implore you: Secure our border by enforcing Congress’s immigration laws.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) chided Biden for avoiding the cities where the immigration crisis is at its most severe.
“If President Biden seriously wants to address the crisis his administration created, he needs to visit McAllen, Eagle Pass, Del Rio, and Laredo, and talk to the communities ravaged by crime, the ranchers who find bodies on their land, the Border Patrol who are overwhelmed, and the families who have lost loved ones due to cross-border drug trafficking,” Cruz said in a statement.
“Instead, he has spent two years gaslighting the American public about how bad things really are.”
Biden has been repeatedly hammered on immigration policy since he entered the White House in January 2021 and began rolling back many of the policies of former President Donald Trump’s administration, actions that his critics say put out a virtual welcome mat for illegal migrants.
“As soon as he took office, President Biden stopped enforcing America’s immigration laws, rolled back effective border policies, & offered the world a clear incentive to illegally enter the US,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said on Twitter.
”His overdue visit to the border is solely a poor attempt to score political points,” he added.
In fiscal year 2022, more than 2.3 million migrants were apprehended while trying to cross the nearly 2,000-mile length of the southern border with Mexico, according to US Customs and Border Protection statistics released in October.
Through the first two months of fiscal year 2023, the number of apprehensions is on pace to approach 2.8 million.