Biden avoids sections of Trump-built border wall during trip to El Paso
Following an onslaught of calls to address the U.S.-Mexico border crisis, President Joe Biden paid a brief visit to the southern border for the first time of his presidency and political career, though the president notably avoided traveling to sections of the border wall constructed under former President Donald Trump.
Biden walked with border patrol agents along the border wall separating El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, on Sunday afternoon. The rust-colored mesh wall that stands roughly 18 feet tall differs from the border wall commissioned under Trump, which is made of heavy steel slats.
A source familiar with the president’s tour told Fox that Biden traveled only along the ‘legacy fencing’ sections of the wall near downtown El Paso, dating back to the Obama administration.
The White House did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on the matter, and Biden did not deliver any public remarks during his visit.
Leading up to Biden’s visit to the Lone Star State, multiple reports surfaced of local authorities ramping up operations to clean up downtown El Paso and remove homeless encampments ahead of the president’s arrival.
An Associated Press report described the trip overall as ‘highly controlled’ and ‘designed to showcase a smooth operation.’ Throughout the visit, the president did not meet with a single migrant.
In Washington, House Republicans, holding a five-seat majority in the 118th Congress, are readying to investigate the Biden administration on a variety of fronts, with border security at the top of the list.
On Monday, Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., who was recently selected to chair the House Homeland Security Committee, vowed to hold Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas accountable for the crisis at the southern border.
Newly elected Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy discounted the trip as a photo-op, saying on Twitter that Republicans will hold Biden and Mayorkas ‘accountable for creating the most dangerous border crisis in American history.’
Since entering office, Biden has presided over more than 5.5 million illegal border crossings and more than 1.2 million known got-aways.