WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he plans to visit the border during his trip to Mexico next week.
Speaking with reporters after an event in Kentucky, Biden told reporters it is his "intention" to visit the border as he makes his way to Mexico City for the North American Leaders' Summit.
"We're working out the details now," he said, without disclosing where on the border he will go.
Biden also told reporters that he plans to give a speech on border security on Thursday.
"I'm just going to see what's going on," Biden said.
This is Biden's first trip to the border as president.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisles have criticized Biden for not visiting the border even as ports of entry have seen surges of migrants.
Republicans who took control of the House in the November midterm elections have vowed to take the administration to task over what they see as failed border policies.
It wasn’t immediately clear where on the border that spans almost 2,000 miles Biden would go. But El Paso, Texas, has been an epicenter of a humanitarian immigration crisis in recent months.
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Tens of thousands of migrants have been crossing at the El Paso border each month, including more than 50,000 people each in October and November.
El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser declared a state of emergency last month after the U.S, Border Patrol released more than 10,000 asylum seekers and other migrants in a single week. Hundreds have been sleeping on city streets.
Many of those released migrants cannot be easily expelled to Mexico or their countries of origin under Title 42.
Biden is already receiving praise by some members of Congress for his decision to visit the border.
Congressman Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat who has been calling on the administration to take more aggressive action to bring the border under control, said in a tweet aimed at the president "I applaud your visit to our southern border."
"Our border communities are experiencing a crisis, the magnitude of which can only be comprehended by seeing it firsthand," said Cuellar, the senior most Texas congressmen from a border district. "Thank you for taking the first step in addressing this situation."
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Contributing: John Moritz
Reach Rebecca Morin at Twitter @RebeccaMorin_
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: President Biden says it's his intention to visit U.S.-Mexico border