Dispute over migration policy: Biden and Trump duel on the border with Mexico

Amid the bitter dispute over US migration policy, US President Joe Biden and his likely election challenger Donald Trump fought a long-distance duel during simultaneous visits to the border with Mexico. Trump accused Biden of being responsible for an “invasion” of irregular migrants during a visit to the Texas border town of Eagle Pass on Thursday.

The Republican, accompanied by the arch-conservative Texas Governor Greg Abbott, painted a dark picture of migrants who would “kidnap”, “rape” and “cruelly murder” US citizens. “Joe Biden is responsible for this invasion,” said the right-wing populist, who wants to win back the White House in the presidential election on November 5th.

During a visit to the Texas border town of Brownsville, almost five and a half hours’ drive from Eagle Pass, Biden accused Trump of politically exploiting the issue of border protection and migration and preventing solutions for electoral reasons. He referred in particular to a legislative package negotiated by senators from his Democratic and opposition Republican sides for better protection of the border with Mexico. The Republicans ultimately let the compromise proposal fail at Trump’s insistence.

“I would say this to Mr. Trump,” Biden said in Brownsville. “Instead of playing political games on this issue, instead of telling members of Congress they want to block this bill – join me.”

It’s not about what benefits one party or the other, emphasized the president, who is running for a second term. It’s about what’s good for the US population. “We have to act,” warned Biden.

Migration policy is likely to become one of the most important issues in the presidential election in November – and potentially harm Biden. During Biden’s presidency, the number of migrants arriving irregularly from Mexico to the United States has reached record highs. Trump and the Republicans blame Biden for this.

The President and his Democrats in turn accuse Trump of torpedoing the negotiated border protection package because a compromise between both parties to better secure the border would be a political success for Biden.

Trump wants to use the crisis at the border with Mexico in the election campaign to win over voters. During the 2016 election campaign and during his subsequent presidency, Trump made border policy a main issue and advocated for the construction of a border wall with Mexico.