Biden Visits One Of Border’s Slowest Sectors To Blame Congress, Talk Climate Change

[Photo Credit: White House | Screenshot]

Reagan Reese White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden took his second-ever trip to the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday, visiting one of the slowest sectors of the state, blaming Congress for failing to pass border initiatives while also touching on climate change.

Biden made his trip Thursday, the same day former President Donald Trump visited Eagle Pass, Texas, and met with state Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. The president visited Brownsville, Texas, which encounters some of the fewest illegal immigrants in the state. As Biden faces backlash for his handling of the border crisis, he opened his remarks by discussing climate change in relation to the wildfires scorching parts of Texas and Oklahoma.

“I’ve flown over a lot of these wildfires since I’ve been president, as a matter of fact, I’ve helicoptered in the west, in the southwest, in the northwest,” Biden began. “I’ve flown over more land burned to the ground, all the vegetation gone than this entire state of Maryland square footage. The idea that there’s no such thing as climate change, I love that man. I love some of my neanderthal friends who still think there is no climate change.”

“Well my administration is going to keep building on the progress we’ve made fighting climate crisis to keep, help folks rebuild themselves in the wake of these disasters,” Biden continued.

In Eagle Pass, Texas, where Trump made his visit, Customs and Border Protection CBP logged about 169,000 apprehensions during the first four months of the 2024 fiscal year, Axios reported. The figure is compared to Brownsville, Texas, where 76,000 apprehensions were recorded.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed criticism that Biden wasn’t visiting a particularly active area of the southern border during a Wednesday press briefing.

“This administration has often criticized Republicans when they go to the border and hold similar press conferences as saying that they’re doing publicity stunts and photo ops.  So, how is this any different?” a reporter asked Jean-Pierre.

“Oh, it’s very different. What House Republicans have done is nothing — absolutely nothing. If anything, they consistently get in the way — they consistently get in the way of what the President is trying to do to get more resources,” the press secretary responded.

“They are turning this into a political stunt by listening to Donald Trump and saying that they need to kill it — this is what they’ve been doing — and making it political, where the President got his team now — directed his team to work with senators, both Republicans and Democrats, to get a bill done,” Jean-Pierre continued.

Brownsville also lacks razor wire, a point of tension between the Biden administration and Abbott’s administration, Axios reported. In a January 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court granted a request by Biden’s administration to permit border patrol to cut the razor wire that had been installed by Texas officials after the border state sued them for cutting parts of the barrier. (RELATED: Doocy To John Kirby Point-Blank: Why Is Biden ‘Making It Easier For People To Enter The Country Illegally?’)

After December 2023 saw the highest logged migrant encounters on record, Biden admitted that he did not believe the border was secure. Border Patrol recorded more than 176,000 migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border in January, the highest compared to previous data for the same month across other years, according to federal data.

During the 2022 fiscal year, there were more than 2.2 million illegal migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border, the federal data shows. There were more than 2 million in fiscal year 2023 encountered at the southern border, according to federal data.

Meanwhile, Congress continues to debate a supplemental funding package that Biden introduced just days after Hamas launched its Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel. The package would send aid to Ukraine, Israel and the nation’s border crisis. Congressional leaders, however, have continued to debate border initiatives.

“The U.S. Senate needs to reconsider this bill and Senators who oppose it need to set politics aside and pass it on its merits, not on whether it is going to benefit one party or the other party. It is about whether it benefits the American people,” Biden said during his Thursday remarks.

“It is what the American people deserve. The Speaker of the House needs to put these on the floor because if he put it on the floor unrestricted, it would pass. The majority of Democrats and Republicans in both Houses support this legislation until someone came along and said ‘Don’t do that. It’ll benefit the incumbent,'” Biden continued, referring to Trump. (RELATED: Biden Says ‘Only Reason’ Border Isn’t Secure Is Because Donald Trump Helped Kill Immigration Bill)

The president’s border policy has recently come under fire following the death of University of Georgia student Laken Riley who was allegedly killed by an illegal immigrant while she was out on a morning run. Jean-Pierre extended the White House’s “deepest condolences” to the family of Riley during a Wednesday press briefing. The press secretary added that she did not have anything to read regarding the president speaking to the family of Riley.

Trump addressed Riley’s death during his border trip, taking a swipe at Biden for failing to discuss the situation publicly. The former president noted that he had spoken to Riley’s family before making his trip.

“Joe Biden will never say Laken Riley’s name, but we will say it. And we will remember. We’re not going to forget her,” Trump said during his trip to the border.

“Let’s remember who we are. We are the United States of America. No I mean this, think about this. There is nothing, nothing beyond our capacity. Nothing. When we work together,” Biden concluded.