Biden and Trump head to border for high-stakes duel

USA: Joe Biden and Donald Trump will both travel to the US-Mexico border on Thursday, locked in a high-stakes political duel on an issue that could ultimately decide the US presidential election.

That border was crossed last year by 2.5 million undocumented migrants, an influx that has overwhelmed processing facilities and pushed social services in major American cities to the brink.

The day provides an opportunity for Mr Biden to try to convince voters he is serious about immigration, while Mr Trump’s own trip is yet another chance to shine a spotlight on an issue that has been the central focus of his political career.

November’s general election is expected to be a Biden-Trump rematch, although the two candidates have not secured their respective parties’ nomination quite yet.

Mr Trump is visiting Eagle Pass, the Texas border town where Republican Governor Greg Abbott has defied the Biden White House by using state National Guard soldiers to detain undocumented migrants and erect border barricades, including razor-wire fences that critics say are inhumane.

The former president is likely to tout these kind of aggressive measures and cite them as part of the reason why border crossings have dropped in Texas recently, while spiking in Arizona and California – states with Democratic governors.

The White House only announced Mr Biden’s own visit to Brownsville, Texas, a few days ago and the president’s trip is another indication that Democrats are scrambling to respond to an area of perceived weakness.

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