Duel against a backdrop of migration policy between Donald Trump and Joe Biden at the Mexican border

Donald Trump was in Eagle Pass, Texas on Thursday, when Joe Biden arrived in Brownsville, on the Mexican border.

The two contenders for a new mandate gave opposing speeches on immigration, a hot topic in the presidential campaign. 

Donald Trump alongside Texas Governor Greg Abbott in Eagle Pass, February 29, 2024. AP - Eric Gay

By: RFI Follow


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With our special correspondent between Texas and Mexico,

Thomas Harms

Eagle Pass is the symbol of the dispute

between the federal administration and the Republican Party.

The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, close to Donald Trump, had buoys armed with razors placed there to prevent migrants from crossing the Rio Grande, and since then elected officials and governors have been coming there to highlight the border issue.

Greg Abbott also had the National Guard seize and surround with barbed wire Shelby Park where migrants used to pass through and banned federal border guards from entering.

The Biden administration has nevertheless won lawsuits: obligation to remove the buoys, obligation to let border guards cut the barbed wire, blocking of the law which was to come into force next Tuesday authorizing Texan law enforcement to make arrests of migrants and expulsions – which is a federal prerogative under the principle of “invasion” – because Federal Judge Ezra found it unconstitutional.

But the Texan authorities refuse and appeal.

Donald Trump therefore finds himself in conquered territory.


It’s the invasion of Joe Biden,

” he lambasted.

Allow thousands, even millions of people coming from China, Iran, Yemen, the Congos, people who come from unknown places, from unknown countries, who do not speak a language (sic).

We have languages ​​arriving in our country, real foreign languages ​​that no one speaks (sic).


The Democratic President displays his political will

The Republican candidate intends to keep the migration theme alive until November.

He was maneuvering to derail the bipartisan law passed by the Senate in the House of Representatives.

Now, the most right-wing members of the Republican Party are calling for a new law, but there is no indication that they would vote for it if it were presented.

President Joe Biden at the Mexican border, in Brownsville, February 29, 2024. REUTERS - Kevin Lamarque

For his part, five hours away, the American president came to Brownsville to defend the bipartisan border law put forward by the Senate.

It must increase the resources allocated to border guards, increase border detention capacities, make the right to asylum more difficult to obtain, increase search operations for fentanyl, change the legal loopholes exploited by the cartels and allow the American authorities to close the border when the system is overwhelmed by massive arrivals of migrants. 

Joe Biden wants to show that he is ready to sign this more restrictive migration law.

But he accuses Republicans of blocking any effort.


I would like to say to Donald Trump, who I believe is in Eagle Pass today: stop telling members of Congress to block this law.

Join me in telling Congress to pass this bipartisan border bill.

We can do it together,

he insisted.

Stop the politicking and let's act!


Texas votes next Tuesday – along with fourteen other states and the territory of Samoa – in the Super Tuesday primaries.

But for the residents of Eagle Pass, like Brownsville, these visits are only political communications operations.

Also read: United States: the electoral battle on immigration is launched


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  • Donald Trump

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