EL PASO, Texas – President Joe Biden visited the U.S.-Mexico border city of El Paso, his first trip since taking office, before meeting with leaders in Mexico City for the North American Leaders’ Summit this week.
The president arrived at the El Paso International Airport after noon on Sunday. He was greeted on the tarmac by Gov. Greg Abbott and was given a letter.
Biden’s trip comes after large increases in migrant crossings have been reported at the border despite Title 42 remaining in place. The pandemic-era policy gave the U.S. the right to quickly turn away migrants and asylum seekers at the border because of COVID-19.
The Biden Administration aims to lift Title 42, but several states are fighting to keep it in place.
On Thursday, Biden announced a border policy plan that will allow 30,000 migrants per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to enter the U.S. and work legally for up to two years.
However in order to qualify, migrants pass a background check, apply from their home countries and arrange for a financial supporter in the U.S., the Texas Tribune reports.
Following the president’s stop in the border city, he will meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Mexico City on Monday and Tuesday for the NAL Summit.
Drug trafficking and immigration are expected to be among the top talking points at the summit, the Associated Press reports.