Vice President Kamala Harris went to the US-Mexico border shortly after she and President Biden took workplace, though she had characterised such visits as empty politics simply weeks earlier than. President Barack Obama additionally visited the border throughout his time within the White Home, although he got here to see the journeys as little greater than photograph ops.

Donald J. Trump used the border when he was president to provoke help for his anti-immigration insurance policies, even signing his identify on his “large, lovely wall” with a Sharpie pen.

Because the immigration debate grows more and more polarized, a visit alongside the two,000-mile border has turn out to be a compulsory piece of political theater for leaders who wish to present they care about immigration. Photos on the border—the wall, the Border Patrol officers, the overcrowded detention services—function a robust backdrop to attract consideration to the disaster or, more and more, to take difficulty with attacking political opponents.

On Thursday, each components shall be at play when President Biden and Mr Trump make dueling journeys to the US-Mexico border.

Mr. Trump will journey to Eagle Move, Texas, the place he’ll speak concerning the crimes of migrants and blame Mr. Biden for the rise in border crossings. Mr. Biden, greater than 300 miles away in Brownsville, plans to talk with border brokers and name Home Republicans who’ve taken their cue from Mr. Trump and pushed via a bipartisan border invoice that will have blown it up. unlawful migration.

“It's a comparatively new phenomenon, the place you go and make an enormous deal from the border to the border,” mentioned Tevi Troy, presidential historian. “So long as this stays a problem, we're going to have presidents who’re both going to make a political level or in the event that they're not going to, they're going to be pressured to take action.”

Immigration has turn out to be one in all Mr Biden's greatest political liabilities as thousands and thousands of migrants overwhelm the underfunded and under-resourced system, one thing Republicans like Mr Trump wish to spotlight. A Gallup ballot launched Tuesday discovered that Individuals usually tend to identify immigration as a very powerful difficulty within the nation.

“It is a Hail Mary for Biden,” mentioned Brandon Judd, president of the Nationwide Border Patrol Council, the principle union for Border Patrol brokers. Mr. Judd, who has lengthy supported Mr. Trump, will be part of the previous president in Eagle Move on Thursday. Nevertheless, he mentioned, it was in favor of the border undertaking in Congress that Mr. Biden supported and Mr. Trump opposed.

Immigration is on the heart of Mr. Trump's candidacy for president and plenty of Republicans, particularly within the Home, shall be reluctant at hand an election-year victory to Mr. Biden on a problem that gave him a robust line of criticism in direction of whiteness. Home.

Border politics wasn't all the time so divisive. In 1971, Pat Nixon, then first girl, captured headlines when she greeted Mexican kids and complained about fencing whereas visiting a park alongside the border in San Diego.

Many years later, President George W. Bush traveled to a Border Patrol put up in New Mexico to rally help for his try and overhaul the nation's immigration coverage. Whereas the Senate at that time supported a invoice that included a path to eventual citizenship for a lot of unlawful immigrants, the Home emphasised the necessity for border safety.

Mr. Obama confronted sharper divisions. In 2011, he made a speech in El Paso in view of the border to push legalization legal guidelines, in a nod to Latino voters who shall be essential within the elections of 2012. However in 2014, as a document variety of unaccompanied minors crossed the border, Mr. Obama confronted incessant calls to go to the border, which he dismissed.

“I'm not inquisitive about photograph ops,” Mr. Obama mentioned.

Mr. Trump was. He visited the border a number of instances throughout his presidency and will have gone extra if not for the pandemic.

Nearly as quickly as Mr. Biden got here into workplace, he and Ms. Harris confronted questions from Republicans who mentioned they need to go to the border and see the disaster for themselves. Each made the journey to El Paso; Ms. Harris in June 2021 and Mr. Biden in January 2023.

Each have additionally confronted criticism. The Republicans took Ms. Harris to go to El Paso as a substitute of the decrease Rio Grande Valley, thought-about the epicenter of the rise in migration. Progressive Democrats mentioned Mr. Biden ought to have spoken on to the migrants.

Gil Kerlikowske, the commissioner of Customs and Border Safety throughout the Obama administration, mentioned presidents and different high officers can present they prioritize the border by visiting. However he additionally acknowledged that such visits might be extra for political acquire.

“It's so politically delicate proper now,” Mr. Kerlikowske mentioned. “To have them come and see the work and the difficulties that Customs and Border Safety specifically is doing on the border tells you that this shall be, if not No. 1, then actually one or two of the matters of this cycle of l 'presidential election.'

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