FACT CHECK: Has Joe Biden Visited The Border More Than Once?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

In a May 9 press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre purported President Joe Biden has visited the U.S.-Southern Border more than once.

Verdict: False

Biden visited the border for the first time since becoming president in January 2023, according to the Texas Tribune.

Fact Check:

Republicans have criticized Biden’s handling of the U.S.-Southern border, according to PBS. Lawmakers have pointed to a surge in illegal border crossings and the number of new arrivals, hitting a new monthly high in February 2023, the outlet reported.

Jean-Pierre said she didn’t have any border trips to preview to reporters during the May 9 briefing following a question about the end of Title 42 from CBS News’ Ed O’Keefe. Jean-Pierre then said that Biden had visited the border more than once.

“I don’t have any trips to — to preview for you. As you know, the President has gone to the border more than once. We have put forth a robust multiagency plan to humanely deal with the border in a way that leads with enforcement, deterrence, and diplomacy,” Jean-Pierre said.

However, an article published by the Texas Tribune states Biden visited the border for the first time since taking office in January 2023. Biden was greeted by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott upon his arrival in El Paso before he embarked on a four-hour tour, the outlet indicated.

The purpose of the tour was to “assess border enforcement operations and meet with local elected officials and community leaders who have been important partners in managing the historic number of migrants fleeing political oppression and gang violence,” Biden’s office said, also according to the outlet.

Prior to taking office as president, Biden did briefly drive by the border in 2008, The Washington Post reported. Biden held a rally in Mesilla, New Mexico at the time and landed at the El Paso airport, where his motorcade drove through Las Cruces, the outlet indicated. The drive included a route that “hugs the border of the United States and Mexico,” David E. Wade, the press officer for the trip, explained to the outlet.

The question of whether or not Biden had ever visited the border followed an October 2021 CNN town hall event where Anderson Cooper asked the president if he had any plans to visit the border, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Did The Leaked Pentagon Documents Show Ukraine Suffered 71,000 Dead?)

“I’ve been there before and I haven’t — I mean, I know it well. I guess I should go down. But the whole point of it is I haven’t had a whole hell of a lot of time to get down,” Biden said at the time, according to a transcript from the CNN town hall event.

Title 42, a 1944 law that allows for migration to be curbed in the interest of protecting public health, expired on May 11, according to The Associated Press. The measure was enacted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in March 2o2o to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the outlet indicated.

Hundreds of U.S. troops have been deployed to the border ahead of the expected migrant surge when the measure expires, CNN reported.

Check Your Fact has contacted the White House, U.S. Border Patrol, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement for comment regarding the claim and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter