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  • Amanda Newman

The Biden-Trump Race to the Border

With President Biden and former President Trump’s landslide victories in the recent primaries, the likelihood of a Trump vs. Biden faceoff next November appears imminent. One of the nation’s most pressing domestic concerns is the US-Mexico border crisis, deeply dividing Democrats and Republicans. In early February, a bipartisan border bill, hoping to further fortify the U.S.-Mexico border and provide aid for both Ukraine and Israel, was struck down by Senate Republicans. Following this, President Biden took center stage, violently accusing Trump of the bill’s failure and criticizing his possible use of fear as a way to control influential figures in the GOP. On February 29th, President Biden visited Brownsville, Texas, along the border, showcasing Democratic determination in wanting Republican collaboration in dealing with the migrant crisis.

In a Brownsville conference, Biden boldly seized the opportunity to dare Trump to come join him at the border: “Instead of telling members of Congress to block this legislation, join me or I'll join you in telling the Congress to pass this bipartisan border security bill. We can do it together.” Trump, who at the time was also in Texas, responded by insulting the President at a conference in Eagle Pass, “This is a Biden invasion over the past three years. […] He’s a terrible president, worst president our country’s ever had, probably, the most incompetent president we’ve ever had.” Despite these remarks, Trump proceeded to also meet with officials at the border — 325 miles away from where President Biden was in Brownsville. Both Trump’s and Biden’s border visits were far from centered on actual border issues, but rather exemplified the chaos that is democracy in the United States. While both leaders agreed on the fact that the current immigration situation must be remedied, with a record 250,000 migrant crossings in December, they disagree politically on how to solve the underlying issues. Biden, focusing on legislation, policy, and his belief in institutions, clashes harshly with Trump’s “Day 1” promises of dictatorship. With immigration being a deciding factor for voters in the next election, Biden and Trump’s games of truth or dare must end in order to ensure bipartisan collaboration and a secure border. Once again, as seen in this recent showmanship at the border, domestic politics and policies center solely on Biden, Trump and their personas, with little attention being attributed to finding solutions and bridging the divide between Democrats and Republicans. Genuine collaboration is essential to formulate effective policies that prioritize national security and address the complexities of immigration.

Until leaders prioritize bipartisan solutions over political gamesmanship, the border crisis will persist as a symptom of dysfunctional governance and the need for meaningful change.

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