Trump and Biden both visit the Texas border in the lead-up to Super Tuesday primaries

Biden will be in Brownsville while Trump visits Eagle Pass with Gov. Greg Abbott.

By Sarah AschFebruary 29, 2024 1:05 pm, ,

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump made simultaneous trips to the U.S.-Mexico border Thursday.

Biden is traveling to Brownsville in the Rio Grande Valley, an area that often sees large numbers of border crossings. Meanwhile, Trump will be about 325 miles away in Eagle Pass, a hotspot in the state-federal clash over border security.

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán, who covers state politics for The Texas Newsroom and traveled to Brownsville for the president’s visit, said that Biden is still pushing for the passage of a bipartisan border bill.

“The president is coming to Brownsville to pretty much push Republicans to pass their failed bipartisan border security proposal that was championed by the U.S. Senate,” he said. “According to the White House, Biden will be talking about the importance of allocating funding to hire more Border Patrol agents and asylum officers. And we’re also expecting the president to issue some remarks [Thursday] afternoon.”

» MORE: Federal judge temporarily blocks Texas’ SB4, the state’s immigration-enforcement law

Martínez-Beltrán said Biden will also meet with local and state leaders and law enforcement during his trip.

There has been a lot of focus on the bipartisan border push. Republicans ended up pulling their support, reportedly at the pressure of Trump, Martínez-Beltrán said.

“This border bill was bipartisan and it was brokered between Democratic and Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate,” Martínez-Beltrán said. “It failed because President Trump got involved and he pretty much asked his Republican colleagues to not support it. But this is a measure that is pretty much what Republicans have dreamt of for years.

“We’re talking about reforming asylum processes. We’re talking about adding more detention beds in ICE facilities. So this is a bill that Republicans would have supported in the past – but it’s an election year, and I think that’s the one thing that we have to keep in mind.”

» GET MORE NEWS FROM AROUND THE STATE: Sign up for Texas Standard’s weekly newsletters

Despite Biden’s continued pressure in support of the bill, Martínez-Beltrán said both sides of the aisle have some issues with it.

“We’ve heard Republicans now saying that they don’t support the measure, and they’re talking about how we don’t need more immigration laws in the country. We just need the Biden administration to enforce them,” he said. “Then you hear from some Democrats, particularly those who are more on the left side, saying that the bill is pretty conservative.

“I actually talked yesterday to someone who is involved in getting young voters out and casting ballots. And he talked about how a lot of young voters, particularly migrant voters, are upset about this measure. But that’s what bipartisanship tends to do, right? It tends to make a lot of people unhappy, just to get something done. But in this case, a lot of people are unhappy and nothing was done.”

Trump’s border visit will focus on Eagle Pass, where federal and state law enforcement have been at odds in recent months over border enforcement.

“We’re expecting the former president to take a tour and talk to Governor [Greg] Abbott and other senior leaders about Texas’ efforts to curb illegal migration,” Martínez-Beltrán said. “As you know, this has been a big part of Governor Greg Abbott’s platform. Operation Lone Star, the $10 billion initiative on the border, is a controversial issue. And President Trump is a big ally of Abbott and vice versa.

“But we also know that former President Trump and Abbott will be at Shelby Park, that is, the park at the epicenter of this battle between Governor Abbott and the Biden administration over who can enforce border security laws in the state.”

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on and Thanks for donating today.