January 19, 2023

Biden's Border Visit Drama Continues

  • Executive, Flyover Country

By Jackson Kincaid

In Brief: 

Not only did El Paso do a quick clean-up and conduct a slew of arrests prior to Biden’s visit, but apparently they also barred certain people from attending. The list included those whose job it is to be in the know and protect the very borders they weren’t allowed to visit. 

The Background: 

Republican U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, who represents most of Texas’ border with Mexico, has accused the White House of barring him from joining Biden’s border visit, likening Biden’s visit to the notorious “Potemkin Village” (a construction whose purpose is to provide an external façade to another country). 

Reports state that Biden arrived and walked along a portion of the border without seeing a single migrant, as well as being shown a cleaned and cleared version of El Paso. This surprised journalists, as just back on December 15th, Democrat Mayor of El Paso declared a state of emergency due to the uncontrolled influx of migrants which left many sleeping on the streets. 

The White House claimed space constraints are the cause of Gonzales being excluded. Yet, according to Fox News, centrist Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, who represents a smaller stretch of border farther from El Paso, was permitted to join the trip, as were Reps. Vicente González (D-Texas), whose district abuts the Gulf of Mexico, and Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), who represents El Paso proper.

During Biden’s first visit to the border, he was met by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at the tarmac and was handed a pointed letter detailing the failings of the Biden administration in their handling of the migrant and border crisis. The letter in part reads:

“The city you visit has been sanitized of the migrant camps which had overrun downtown El Paso because your Administration wants to shield you from the chaos that Texans experience on a daily basis. This chaos is the direct result of your failure to enforce the immigration laws that Congress enacted.”

Notable Quotes: 

“POTUS visit to a Potemkin Border.” – Diplomat Alberto Miguel Fernandez

“Per El Paso’s mayor, ‘hundreds [of migrants are] sleeping on the streets.’ Will Biden see these encampments during his border visit? No. He’ll see a Potemkin village after they were temporarily cleared. His admin cares more about optics than reality.”  –Tommy Pigott, Republican National Committee official



What do you think?