President Biden said on Tuesday that he would not go to the US-Mexico border during a day trip to Arizona because he had “more important things” to deal with – despite record numbers of people crossing into the US illegally.
“Why not go to the border state and go to the border?” a reporter asked Biden on the White House lawn on his way to Arizona.
The president replied: “Because there are more important things going on. They want to invest billions of dollars in a new enterprise in the state.”
Biden is visiting Phoenix to promote this year’s bipartisan CHIPS Act, which would subsidize US technology companies that make computer chips in the country.
The visit comes after a record high for illegal border crossings in the 2022 fiscal year, which ended on September 30, when more than 2.3 million people entered the US illegally and were apprehended. 1.7 mln In FY 2021, less than 500,000 in FY 2020 and nearly 1 million in FY 2019.
Critics have blamed the border crisis on Biden’s policies, including easing the Trump-era CDC policy of quickly deporting border crossers under the COVID-19 rule, as well as ending the policy of requiring migrants to stay in Mexico to await a court decision on their asylum claims.
Republican governments. Texas’ Greg Abbott and Florida’s Ron DeSantis have this year bused or flown thousands of migrants from the US-Mexico border to Democratic strongholds like New York and Washington to pressure Biden for tougher policies.