Biden defends Arizona border visit saying there are ‘more important things’

President Biden defended his decision to skip visiting the US-Mexico border in Arizona on Tuesday, saying “there are more important things.”

Biden defended himself as he boarded Marine One to leave the White House on Tuesday. Biden has never visited the border throughout his presidency, despite the ongoing crisis with record numbers of illegal immigrants crossing the border each month.

“Why go to a border state and not visit the border?” asked Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy.

“Because there are more important things,” Biden replied. “They will invest billions of dollars in a new company.”

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President Biden exits the Holy Spirit Catholic Church after attending mass on St. Johns Island, South Carolina on August 13, 2022.
(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Migrants attempting to enter the United States from Mexico are detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the border August 20, 2022 in San Luis, Arizona.

Migrants attempting to enter the United States from Mexico are detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the border August 20, 2022 in San Luis, Arizona.
(Nick Ut/Getty Images)

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre last month dismissed Republican border visits as “political stunts.”

The US has seen record levels of illegal immigration throughout the Biden administration. This was announced by the US Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP). 230,000 border encounters in October alone, an all-time monthly record that broke the previous record set in September.

September data showed that fiscal year 2022 ended with 2,378,944 encounters with migrants, the highest number ever recorded in a fiscal year. That number doesn’t include the 599,000 known “runaways” who, according to CBP sources, evaded Fox News capture during the same period.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre urges reporters during a briefing with Senior White House Medical Advisor Dr.  Anthony Fauci, and the COVID-19 response coordinator, Dr.  Ashish Jha, during a briefing on COVID-19 at the White House on April 22nd, 2022, in Washington, DC

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre urges reporters during a briefing with Senior White House Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the COVID-19 response coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, during a briefing on COVID-19 at the White House on April 22nd, 2022, in Washington, DC
(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Biden administration has repeatedly tried to dismiss border crossings as an annual pattern. While the southern border has seen a pattern of increases in migration each spring, increases in both 2021 and 2022 far outpaced previous years, and this pace only escalated as the year progressed.

Vice President Kamala Harris, who has tasked Biden with leading the administration’s efforts to deal with the border crisis, has argued the border is “closed” and told migrants firmly over the past year, “Don’t come.”

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Despite this, many of the migrants Fox News spoke to in November described the border as “abierta” or “open”. Some of the migrants also gave personal praise to Biden.

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