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Trump and Biden: A Tale of Two Border Visits

The stark differences in how each presidential candidate sees the border.

Former President Donald Trump is at Eagle Pass, Texas, visiting American residents, immigrants, and community leaders – and he’s campaigning on one of the hottest issues of the 2024 election. None of this is surprising from the MAGA guy who ran in 2016 on border security. But it is astonishing that President Joe Biden is also in Texas today talking up his own presidency regarding immigration.

Cue the dueling banjos.

Today’s hefty visit by the two members of the most exclusive club in the United States has tongues wagging about the stark differences. Trump is at ground zero; Biden is primped and primed to deliver his speech in Brownsville, Texas, a senior citizen winter haven about 40 minutes from two pristine beaches. The optics he presents are of a border under control and not in crisis, with nary a glimpse at the encampments, the poverty, and the desperation of those languishing under the largest humanitarian disaster in the nation’s immigration history.

On Truth Social, Trump came out swinging in preparation for Eagle Pass: “When I am your president, we will immediately seal the border, stop the invasion, and on day one, we will begin the largest deportation operation of illegal criminals in American history!”

Biden’s prep to reporters was in response to Trump’s announced trip south: a familiar theme of this administration catching up to Trump without blinking an eye. The current president claimed, and this is believable, that he wasn’t aware of the timing: “I planned it for Thursday. What I didn’t know was my good friend apparently is going.”

Thank goodness Texas is big enough for two giant egos.

The Border

Biden has visited the border once during his presidency so far. During that time, he inspected Customs and Border Protection facilities, walked a stretch of the border wall, and kept away from the migrants in limbo. This visit is much the same. In a statement, the president will “meet with US Border Patrol agents, law enforcement, and local leaders.”

GettyImages-1901089163 Greg Abbott

Greg Abbott (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

A White House official explained the sudden trip with a DC news outlet as an opportunity to “discuss the urgent need to pass the Senate bipartisan border security agreement, the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border in decades.”

“He will reiterate his calls for Congressional Republicans to stop playing politics and to provide the funding needed for additional US Border Patrol agents, more asylum officers, fentanyl detection technology, and more,” the official continued.

Meanwhile, in an actual border encampment, Trump will inspect Shelby Park, a controversial area that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Lone Star State have enclosed and secured with state troopers and National Guard soldiers to keep out federal Border Patrol agents.

Eagle Pass experienced an overwhelming 2,000 arrests daily of illegal immigrants not long ago. That number has declined due to the state’s efforts, yet Abbott is a pebble in the Biden administration’s shoe.

However, Americans know those numbers will increase again if the federal government does nothing. Polls across the nation have been publishing warnings now for months. After the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, immigration was the top issue on voters’ minds. Edison Research exit polls in South Carolina had immigration crowning the list.

And then this week, Monmouth Polling dropped the bomb: “More than 80% of voters now see undocumented migration as either a very serious problem (61%) or a somewhat serious problem (23%).” The survey also showed that the majority (53%) of voters polled favored building the wall. And about a third believe illegal immigrants commit more violent crimes. Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, explained:

“Illegal immigration has taken center stage as a defining issue this presidential election year. Other Monmouth polling found this to be Biden’s weakest policy area, including among his fellow Democrats.”

The Duel Rages

Immigration has spiked for a plethora of reasons: war, civil unrest, drug cartels, natural disasters, and the all-important open invitation issued in recent years by sanctuary cities and the Biden administration. Order needs to be restored. Biden blamed Trump and congressional Republicans for killing proposed legislation earlier this month. Trump was not shy about egging the GOP into a “no” vote, telling Fox News: “It made it much better for the opposing side.” His rationale was that the bill did little to actually reduce illegal immigration.

Biden pounced: “He just admitted it. He sabotaged our bipartisan deal to secure the border … you know who the opposing side is? In this case, it’s America. Donald Trump roots against America every chance he gets.”

But that’s still not what Americans keep telling the pollsters.

Read More From Sarah Cowgill

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