After joining President Biden in El Paso, Texas, on his first visit to the southern border since taking office in 2021, several Democrat representatives from the border state were accused of using the trip as a ‘photo-op,’ as they remain unresponsive to concerns raised over their trip.
On Sunday, President Biden and a group of Texas Democrats traveled to the souther border amid the ongoing migrant crisis, but they reportedly did not visit several highly impacted areas, nor did they meet with any migrants during the 3-hour stop.
Fox News Digital reached out to Reps. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, and Vicente Gonzales, D-Texas, asking them about the questionably-timed increase in migrant arrests before their arrival that sparked accusations the city was being cleared up simply in preparation for the president’s arrival when the issues could have been addressed months prior.
They were also asked about Biden’s decision to boost the expulsion of Haitians, Cubans and Nicaraguans from the U.S. under Title 42, despite trying to end the Trump-era policy just weeks ago, but did not receive a response to either question.
The city of El Paso and Biden were slammed after allegedly cleaning up the city and arresting migrants in preparation for the president’s visit, necessary actions that could have been taken for the city’s residents in previous weeks.
‘El Paso is being cleared up as if nothing unusual ever happened there,’ the National Border Patrol Council tweeted on Friday after a report that ‘large crowds’ of migrants were detained in El Paso by Border Patrol agents on Wednesday. ‘Just in time for Biden’s ‘visit to the border.”
‘Just before Biden comes here, they started cleaning up these encampments. I mean, that’s just a fact. And they can try and spin it all they want, but the truth is the truth,’ RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Fox News. ‘I hope the press comes and looks at it after he leaves to see what they did for his photo-op.’
When Fox News Digital asked the group of Democrats who accompanied Biden to the border their take on the increase in arrests ahead of their visit after claims it was only for a photo opportunity, they did not respond.
‘El Paso clears downtown of expansive migrant camps ahead of Biden visit,’ tweeted Rep. Mayra Flores, R-Texas, who also suggested border patrol ramped up arrests ahead of Biden’s visit. ‘Why not show him what our border community and law enforcement officials are dealing with on a daily basis.’
Despite pushing to end Title 42, the Biden administration recently extended its rules to Haitians, Cubans and Nicaraguans, increasing deportations among individuals who migrated through the U.S. southern border from these countries. The president also announced an expansion of a humanitarian parole program for Venezuelan nationals to include Haitians, Cubans and Nicaraguans.
El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas were also in attendance, but did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
In December, CBP revealed that since the start of fiscal year 2023, which began in October, over 485,000 migrants crossed the southern border and was expected to hit the half a million later in the month.
Despite the constant a wave of migrants passing through the border the past few months, the number of illegal migrant crossings into the U.S. has reportedly dropped significantly since December, CBP sources confirmed.
Fox News’ Ashley Papa, Jessica Chasmar, Greg Wehner and Bill Melugin contributed to this report.