President Joe Biden emerged closer than he ever realized to hundreds of unlawful migrants who had just set foot on American soil during his edge trip on Sunday.
As their presidential motorcade sped together closed roads from one thoroughly stage-managed facility visit to an additional, he came within a few dozen feet of migrants lining up on the wrong side of the border fence.
They sent upward a cheer as Biden’s convoy race past over them even though he would almost certainly have been oblivious to their presence.
It notable an ironic twist to a whistlestop tour of border facilities in El Paso, where the president was kept well away from streets in which he might be able to see migrants in particular in the city.
The episode echoes Republican criticism that the visit was little more than a photo op at the border.
And it comes amid claims that El Paso — the epicenter of a migrant surge last month — have been cleaned up before Biden’s visit.
Out of all president spent three hours on the ground near the border, meeting officers and charities that help migrants.
He was not seen meeting any migrants, however.
After visiting the busy port of admittance on the Bridge of the Americas, connecting El Paso to the Mexican city of Mexican city of Ciudad Juá rez, Biden was driven to their next stop at the El Paso County Migrant Solutions Center.
The particular convoy of police automobiles, SUVs and buses carrying staff, Secret Service agents and journalists traveled from high speeds along streets that were closed to regular traffic.
The particular 21-minute journey took all of them past the well-fortified border, exactly where Texas National Guard troops have been deployed to originate the flow of migrant workers.
But the vehicles were clearly visible to migrants on the other side of the edge fence.