Biden appeals to Trump to support anti-immigrant bill: “Join me”

In an extraordinary press conference held Thursday afternoon at the Customs and Border Patrol station in Brownsville, Texas, President Joe Biden issued a right-wing appeal to ex-President Donald Trump to join him in supporting previously negotiated multibillion-dollar anti-immigrant legislation.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks during a visit to the southern border, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, in Brownsville, Texas, as Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, looks on. [AP Photo/Evan Vucci]

Speaking in front of a row of Border Patrol agents, Biden, who has spent months campaigning against Trump on the basis that he represents a unique and unprecedented threat to American democracy, called on “Mr. Trump” to “join me” in supporting “the toughest, most efficient, most effective border security bill this country has ever seen.”

Adopting the Republican claims that there is a “border crisis” and that the United States is a nation under siege, Biden began the press conference stating, “It’s time to act, it’s long past time to act. I just received a briefing from Border Patrol at the border, as well as Immigration and Enforcement Asylum officers. ... They need more agents, more officers, more judges, more equipment, in order to secure our border. Folks, it’s time for us to move on this. We can’t wait any longer.”

Biden then called on Speaker of the House Mike Johnson to “reconsider” the legislation, which, as Biden himself reiterated, has been supported by a host of reactionary organizations, including the Border Patrol Council, the Chamber of Commerce and the Wall Street Journal, the leading mouthpiece of the parasitic corporate oligarchy.

Turning to the ex-president, who has adopted Nazi language in denouncing migrants as “vermin” who are “poisoning the blood of our country,” Biden said: “I understand my predecessor is in Eagle Pass today, so here is what I would say to Mr. Trump. Instead of playing politics with this issue, instead of telling members of Congress to block this legislation, join me. Or I will join you in telling the Congress to pass this bipartisan border security bill.”

Less than a week after Trump and his neo-Nazi allies described in detail their plans for mass deportations at the CPAC conference, Biden added, “We can do it together.” Concluding his remarks, Biden said, “If there is anything we should be working together on, it is this.”

Biden has an overriding purpose in this degrading and reactionary spectacle. He hopes, by reaching an agreement with the Republicans on border policy, entirely on their terms, to obtain support in the Republican-controlled House of Representative to pass his $95 billion supplemental military spending bill, of which $60 billion is allotted to the US-NATO war against Russia in Ukraine.

The reality is that the only “crisis” on the border is the plight of the migrants themselves, who are risking death by heat exhaustion, drowning, hunger and thirst, as well as state and vigilante violence. They are driven to seek asylum and economic survival in the United States by the poverty and savage oppression they experience in their own countries, primarily as a result of American imperialist domination of Latin America. But all this is a closed book to the two parties of big business and the corporate media, which has gone out of its way to sensationalize the influx of migrant workers and demonize them as a threat to the American people.

It was notable that while Biden appealed to “Mr. Trump,” the Republican was denouncing him as “Crooked Joe Biden,” describing the border crisis as “a Joe Biden invasion,” and vilifying migrants as “columns of fighting-age men” being brought in to “overrun” the United States.

Trump was speaking at his own anti-immigrant rally in Eagle Pass, Texas, roughly 325 miles northwest of Brownsville, where he was welcomed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Brandon Judd, head of the Border Patrol union, and Texas National Guard General Thomas Suelzer.

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump walks during a visit to Shelby Park on the U.S.-Mexico border, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, in Eagle Pass, Texas. At front left is Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. [AP Photo/Eric Gay]

The fascist ex-president toured a tactical operations center manned by dozens of guardsmen, who have been mobilized by Abbott, along with state troopers, in an illegal and unconstitutional usurpation of federal authority along a stretch of the US-Mexico border.

Trump demonstrated his support for Abbott’s neo-Confederate claims of states’ rights, taking briefings from the soldiers about the various “illegals” they were “tracking across the border.” He strutted in front of concertina wire and rows of troops armed with M16s in his best imitation of a president-dictator, which he aspires to become after the election.

Delivering a truncated version of his campaign speech, he began by thanking the various political, police and military officials present, singling out General Suelzer, saying he “was always right there and understands this Texas Military Department. ... I think he understands war because that’s what you have, you are in a war.”

Referring to Governor Greg Abbott’s defiance of federal border authority, Trump said, “Texas has done an amazing job in short period of time ... the operation which they showed me is nothing less than incredible.”

“It’s a military operation,” Trump gushed. “We have a military ... this is like a war. It’s a military operation.”

Donald Trump speaks as he arrives for a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, in Eagle Pass, Texas [AP Photo/Eric Gay]

As both Biden and Trump seek to broaden the bipartisan assault on the democratic rights of immigrants and further expand the border police-state, Socialist Equality Party candidate for vice president Jerry White issued a statement on Twitter/X denouncing “the anti-immigrant police-state measures of the Trump and Biden administrations.”

White wrote that he and SEP presidential candidate Joseph Kishore “demand an immediate end to all deportations, border wall construction and the removal all deadly barriers, including miles of concertina wire and sawblade-equipped buoys, which have killed and injured hundreds of people, including many children.”

White continued: “These attacks on immigrants are an attack on the entire working class. The ruling class seeks to pit workers against each other along nationalist lines so they do not focus on the real enemy, the capitalist system.”

Trump and “Genocide Joe,” White said, are “seeking to divide workers from their class brothers and sisters across the river from Matamoros, Mexico. In 2019, some 70,000 maquiladora workers went on strike against the sweatshop working conditions at plants in Matamoros, many of which supply the US auto and electronics industries.

“During those mass strikes, conducted in defiance of the stooge corporate-controlled unions, workers marched to the border in Brownsville and called on their US counterparts to join in the strike, shouting, ‘Americans, wake up!’

“This powerful appeal, based on the international unity of the working class against their capitalist governments, is the progressive answer to the anti-immigrant chauvinism of Trump, Biden and the nationalist trade unions, which pit workers against each other in a race to the bottom.”

White’s statement concluded, “The Socialist Equality Party fights for the international unity of the working class against capitalism and an end to the nation-state system. We oppose the attacks on immigrants by both the Democrats and Republicans and their crude and racist attempts to blame them for the crisis of the profit system.”