Feb 26, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Biden and Trump unveil dueling border visits

side by side image of former President Trump and President Biden.

Photos: Win McNamee/Getty Images and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden and former President Trump are both set to descend on the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday, in an unusual split screen as immigration emerges as a key 2024 issue.

Why it matters: Biden's visit comes as his handling of the southern border has become a political vulnerability as he ramps up his re-election bid.

Driving the news: Biden will travel to Brownsville, Texas, to meet with U.S. Border Patrol agents, law enforcement and local leaders, per a White House official.

  • "He will 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," the official said.
  • Trump is expected to visit Eagle Pass, Texas, and deliver remarks, a person familiar with his plans confirmed to Axios.

The big picture: Biden, who last visited the border in January 2023, has faced blowback over his handling of the southern border amid a record number of border crossings.

  • Polling shows that immigration is a top factor for Americans who say they disapprove of Biden's performance.
  • Republicans have seized on Biden's struggles with the chaos at the border, making it a central campaign point.

Friction point: The dueling border visits come after Senate Republicans killed a bipartisan border deal following months of negotiations earlier this month.

  • Republicans' rejection of the bipartisan border deal has given Democrats an opening to go on offense — accusing Republicans of allowing politics to block solutions to the border crisis.
  • Biden has toyed with an executive order that would restrict the ability of migrants to claim asylum and allow him to bypass congressional approval, Axios' Stef Kight and Hans Nichols reported.

What's next: "[Biden] will reiterate his calls for congressional Republicans to stop playing politics and to provide the funding needed for additional U.S. Border Patrol agents, more asylum officers, fentanyl detection technology and more," per the White House official.

Axios' Stef Kight contributed reporting.

Go deeper: How Biden botched the border

Editor's note: This story has been updated with confirmation of Trump's travel plans.

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