- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 6, 2022

President Biden is expected to avoid the southern border on Tuesday despite being a stone’s throw away in Arizona to tout foreign investment in the state.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre avoided questions about Mr. Biden‘s itinerary in Phoenix, about 100 miles from the border, to celebrate progress on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s new production facility.

She told reporters that the trip “is about American manufacturing boom we’re seeing all across the country, thanks to … his economic policies,” when asked about a potential stopover at the border. 

Mr. Biden has yet to visit the border during his tenure, which has been marked by criticism of his policies that have led to crisis-level illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

Ms. Jean-Pierre insisted last week that the president had been to the border, despite no record of such a visit while in office.

On Monday she blamed Republicans for failing to work with Democrats to solve the crisis.

SEE ALSO: Reported bipartisan deal will grant citizenship to two million ‘Dreamers,’ toughen border processing

“We should be able to reach a bipartisan agreement on immigration, too, and that’s what we’re calling for, right?” she said Monday. “We’re asking for Republican officials to come and work with us, and let’s have a bipartisan agreement on immigration instead of doing political stunts.”

Encounters between U.S. law enforcement and illegal immigrants at the border reached a record 1.7 million in 2021. Border officials have already encountered 2.3 million crossers this year.

Mr. Biden has received criticism from both sides of the aisle for ignoring the crisis.

Gene Hamilton, vice president of America First Legal and a former senior counselor to the Homeland Security security, told Fox News Digital that Mr. Biden‘s absence “shows us he’s committed to failure.”

“Every nation has the right to protect its borders, and the United States is no different, yet President Biden has presided over a catastrophic collapse of border security unparalleled in modern times,” he said.

Vice President Kamala Harris, who has been charged with addressing the “root cause” of the soaring migration, declared in September that “the border is secure” despite the continuing flood of illegal crossings.

SEE ALSO: Ready or not? Homeland security insists they are ready for border surge, then asks for delay

Alexandra Miller, director of the progressive Immigration Justice Campaign for the American Immigration Council, blasted Mr. Biden‘s decision to avoid the border while in Arizona.

“In coming to Arizona, President Biden has an important opportunity to bear witness to the cruelty that migrants are experiencing at the border and to see the hard work that humanitarian organizations, legal service providers and other good Samaritans are doing at the border every day,” she told Fox News Digital. “Unfortunately, it looks like this opportunity will be missed.”

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide

Sponsored Stories