The electoral frontrunners are making competing visits, however whereas Biden is on the lookout for a compromise, Trump is deploying incendiary rhetoric.

US President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have made separate visits to the US-Mexico border in Texas, competing over who has the perfect strategy to tackling immigration.

The 2 politicians' simultaneous visits on Thursday, 523 km (325 miles) aside on the river banks of the winding border, highlighted the extent to which unlawful immigration has change into a hot-button concern forward of a possible electoral rematch between the pair in November. .

President Joe Biden speaks with the U.S. Border Patrol as he watches over the southern border, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, in Brownsville, Texas
President Joe Biden speaks with U.S. Border Patrol brokers as they guard the southern border, Feb. 29, 2024, in Brownsville, Texas, alongside the Rio Grande. [Evan Vucci/AP]

Biden, who visited the Rio Grande Valley metropolis of Brownsville alongside the busiest border crossing hall, careworn the necessity for bipartisan border safety laws, which has been pushed again by Republicans. on Trump's orders. He requested the Republican frontrunner to hitch him in supporting a congressional push for extra funding and tighter restrictions.

“Right here's what I might say to Mr. Trump,” Biden mentioned. “As an alternative of enjoying politics with the issue, be a part of me, or I’ll be a part of you, in telling Congress to cross this invoice. You realize and I do know that it’s the hardest, most effective, best border safety invoice that this nation has ever seen.”

Trump met with Texas Nationwide Guard troopers who had arrange a razor wire fence on the banks of the river in Eagle Move, a couple of hundred miles north of Brownsville. He adopted a extra bellicose tone.

“This is sort of a struggle,” he mentioned. “They’re being left in our nation and it's horrible,” he mentioned, declaring that the migrants arriving on the border had been “criminals” and “terrorists.”

Republican presidential candidate, former President Donald Trump, speaks with General Thomas Suelzer, assistant general for the State of Texas, in Shelby Park during a visit to the US-Mexico border, Thursday, February 29, 2024.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks with Main Common Thomas Suelzer, assistant common for the State of Texas, at Shelby Park throughout a go to to the US-Mexico border, February 29, 2024, in Eagle Move, Texas [Eric Gay/AP Photo]

Trump additionally spoke concerning the current dying of a 22-year-old nursing pupil in Georgia, who was killed whereas on a run on his faculty campus.

The case, by which the primary suspect is a Venezuelan migrant, is now on the heart of the immigration debate.

Trump positioned the blame on Biden's shoulders. “Crooked Joe has the blood of numerous harmless victims,” ​​he mentioned. “He has so many tales to inform, so many horrible tales.”

More durable measures

The variety of individuals crossing the US border from Mexico has been on the rise for years, for causes that embody local weather change, struggle and unrest in different nations and the financial system.

Arrests for unlawful crossings fell by half in January, however there have been document highs in December.

In Washington, the controversy over immigration has shifted additional to the precise. Biden took workplace in 2021 promising to reverse Trump's robust immigration insurance policies, however has since toughened his personal strategy.

Beneath stress from Republicans who accuse him of failing to regulate the border, Biden requested Congress final 12 months to supply extra funding for enforcement and mentioned he would “shut the border” if they offer a brand new authority to return migrants.

Trump, who was president from 2017 to early 2021, has made immigration and border safety his signature concern.

A January 31 Reuters-Ipsos ballot discovered rising concern amongst People about immigration, with 17 p.c of respondents itemizing it as crucial concern dealing with the U.S. right now, up sharply from 11 p.c in December. It was the largest concern of Republican respondents, with 36 p.c citing it as their prime concern, forward of the 29 p.c who cited the financial system.

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