CNN Surprisingly Skeptical Of Biden’s Failure To Meet Migrants In El Paso

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CNN This Morning took a surprisingly skeptical stance on President Biden’s failure to meet any migrants during his border visit yesterday.

Kaitlin Collins delivered the segment and noted:

“During a tightly-controlled visit to El Paso, Biden met with border patrol officers, lawmakers, and local officials. But he didn’t appear to actually meet with any of the migrants, or see any of them, including as he visited a migrant aid center while he was there on the ground.

The White House said that’s because there were no migrants there at the time. They said it was a coincidence. But CNN reporting does show there are hundreds of migrants living on the streets of El Paso, including children, as we’ve been showing you in our reporting.”

That was Collins coming about as close as she dared to calling out the White House claim that it was a mere “coincidence” that during Biden’s visit, there were no migrants at a “migrant aid center” – in a city teeming with migrants. 

Note Collins’s description of Biden’s visit being “tightly controlled.” A ton of advance planning undoubtedly went into this visit. If Biden had wanted to be seen meeting migrants, Biden would have been seen meeting migrants. 

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Odds that zero migrants just happened to be present when Biden visited a “migrant aid center?” About the same as the Packers’ odds of winning the Super Bowl—and they just got eliminated yesterday. 

Not only didn’t Biden meet any migrants, but Collins also noted that he didn’t even “see” any migrants. It’s been reported that in preparation for Biden’s visit, migrant camps were torn down, and the migrants sent back across the border into Mexico. We’re getting into Potemkin Village territory here!

Note also the screencap graphic, underlining Biden’s failure: “Biden Hits Border For First Time As President, Doesn’t See Migrants.”

Things didn’t get better for Biden when reporter Priscilla Alvarez was brought on. She essentially echoed Collins: 

“Over the course of the hours-long visit, the president went to a port of entry, he went to the border wall, and he went to that migrant processing center that you mentioned earlier, where he didn’t appear to see migrants. 

“Now, advocates say he essentially left the visit without seeing the worst of the humanitarian crisis.”

Not exactly a rave review!

CNN This Morning taking a surprisingly skeptical stance of the White House’s claim that it was simply a “coincidence” that there were no migrants present when Biden visited a migrant aid center in El Paso was sponsored in part by Sleep Number, and Pfizer, maker of Robitussin.

Here’s the transcript.

CNN This Morning
1/9/23
6:05 am ET

KAITLAN COLLINS: This morning, President Biden is in Mexico after he visited the southern border yesterday for the first time since taking office.

During a tightly-controlled visit to El Paso, Biden met with border patrol officers, lawmakers, and local officials. But he didn’t appear to actually meet with any of the migrants, or see any of them, including as he visited a migrant aid center while he was there on the ground.

The White House said that’s because there were no migrants there at the time. They said it was a coincidence. But CNN reporting does show there are hundreds of migrants living on the streets of El Paso, including children, as we’ve been showing you in our reporting. 

CNN’S Pricilla Alvarez is live in Mexico City. Priscilla, you know, the president’s been facing backlash from both Democrats and Republicans when it comes to immigration. Obviously, it’s not any simple solution. What did he see when he was there, actually on the ground?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ: Well, an to that point, Kaitlan, he has been facing growing calls to visit the US/Mexico border, as the administration deals with a record-breaking surge of migrants. And on Sunday he was forced to face that political problem that, up until this point, has no quick or easy solution. And that was clear from the outset.
 
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a fierce critic of the Biden administration, greeted Biden when he arrived and gave him a letter. That letter, criticizing the administration’s immigration approach. Now, over the course of the hours-long visit, the president went to a port of entry, he went to the border wall, and he went to that migrant processing center that you mentioned earlier, where he didn’t appear to see migrants. 

Now, advocates say he essentially left the visit without seeing the worst of the humanitarian crisis, a crisis, Kaitlin, that remains a challenge for the administration, and one that Biden is very likely to talk about here in Mexico during the North American leaders’ summit.

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