Throughout the past month, Republican state governors have been sending or have committed to sending armed personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border, answering a mutual aid call from Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Doucey. These states now include South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Ohio, Nebraska, and Florida. Arizona and Texas are also sending their own state officers to the border. It still remains unclear what duties these officers will be performing and whether or not they will have the ability to make arrests against unauthorized migrants; immigration enforcement remains strictly under federal jurisdiction.
On Wednesday, Trump traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border in a public event to accuse President Biden of neglecting national security when it comes to border enforcement. At least 31 Republican Congressional representatives attended the event, which had the makings of a miniature campaign rally despite his loss to Biden in the 2020 election. Trump’s visit to the border came as arrests at the southwest border had risen to the highest monthly levels in the past two decades.
On Friday, Vice President Harris made her first trip to the U.S.-Mexico border, where she toured the El Paso central processing center, and spoke with border agents and migrant children. This trip comes in the wake of months of criticism from Republicans, as well as prior trips to Mexico and Guatemala. During her visit, she blamed the Trump administration for leaving the new administration in a tough situation, but applauding their own progress so far. Some activists expressed disappointment that her visit took place in El Paso, where far fewer asylum seeking families have been forced to wait on the other side of the border. Her trip also did not include a visit to Fort Bliss. Harris continued to reinforce the need to address the root causes of migration, including violence, corruption, poverty, and food insecurity.
The Biden administration has forced Border Patrol head Rodney Scott out of office, to be replaced by Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz on an interim basis. Scott published a statement on social media claiming he had received a letter offering him the option to resign, retire, or relocate, with no additional rationale on his removal. Many were surprised Scott had been allowed to remain in his position this long into Biden’s presidential term.
Nebraska joins Florida as the second country to agree to send state troopers to Texas to assist with border security and law enforcement. The two dozen state troopers will arrive in Texas later this month and stay for up to 16 days.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida plans to send state law enforcement officers to the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona and Texas, claiming the migrant “crisis” has led to increased criminal activity in Florida. This makes Florida the first state to respond to a joint letter sent out by Arizona and Texas governors asking that the other states send them additional personnel and resources to help with border security. This has also prompted sheriffs from seven Florida counties to send deputies and officers to the border as well. DeSantis offered few other details about this border security effort.
The Biden administration is considering a policy change that would allow some immigrants with humanitarian exceptions to await court hearings in the U.S. The change would allow Mexican organizations to identify especially vulnerable migrants and share their data with CBP, speeding up the screening process.
Senators Cornyn, Sinema, and Cuellar introduced The Bipartisan Border Solutions Act, which increases CBP involvement in the asylum process and is intended to streamline and speed up processing at the border.
Governor Doug Ducey issued an emergency declaration and deployed the Arizona National Guard to the southern border to support law enforcement efforts, at an initial cost of $25 million.
Close to 100 migrants expelled across the border into Reynosa walked on to the Hidalgo International Bridge to protest expulsions and to call for the Biden administration to let them in.
Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that he will propose a new regional migration agreement during the virtual Climate Summit. This proposal includes the expansion of legal work programs in Mexico and the United States, with an eventual pathway to U.S. citizenship.
A federal judge ruled that the Biden administration has the right to seize 6.5 acres of privately-owned land along the Rio Grande under eminent domain due to the government’s “urgency of possession”.
The Biden administration awarded a $530 million no bid contract to Family Endeavors, a Texas nonprofit that does contracting work on the border.
The Biden administration will nominate Ur Jaddou, a longtime Democratic immigration policy official, to lead USCIS.
President Biden has asked Congress to increase funding for ICE and CBP workforce oversight offices to $470 million (a 22 percent increase) to help investigate white supremacist beliefs.
President Biden is planning to nominate Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus to lead CBP, according to a White House announcement. Magnus was reportedly selected for his efforts on police reform and for his understanding of the separation between local law enforcement and federal law enforcement.
The Biden administration’s discretionary funding request for 2022 declined all border wall funding and rescinded unused funds that had previously been marked for construction. The request also asks for $4.3 billion for ORR and $861 million for root causes in the Northern Triangle region.
Roberta Jacobson will step down at the end of the month as the Biden administration’s border coordinator, a temporary position.
Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) will be leading a Democratic delegation to visit a facility for unaccompanied migrant children on Monday, April 5.
The Biden administration has placed close to 30,000 radio ads across Latin America urging migrants not to make the journey to the U.S.-Mexico border. The advertisements have reached at least 7 million listeners to date.