Live Updates: 2024 Election News

President Joe Biden is expected to launch an attack on immigration during Thursday’s debate, pointing to his recent administration actions and making Republican rival Donald Trump’s policies appear more radical, a source familiar with the matter said.

Ahead of the presidential debate, the Biden administration is already trying to project confidence in border security, citing a recent drop in border crossings since Biden’s move to limit asylum access.

Since Biden took office, his administration has been grappling with record migration—often forced to respond to multiple border crises. But in recent months, the White House has sought to take advantage of a brief reprieve from one of the most politically fraught issues facing Biden in his re-election campaign — this time, going on the offensive.

While Biden advisers don’t see immigration as a defining issue for him, Biden is willing to tackle the issue when it’s raised, including by pointing to actions taken by the administration and the border security bill that Trump floated earlier this year.

They argued that Biden’s administration was tied to action, while continuing to vilify Republicans for not moving on immigration reform.

But Biden’s immigration agenda doesn’t seem to have convinced voters so far. Biden continues to trail Trump, who has made border security a cornerstone of his campaign in the polls, and his team expects the issue to be contentious in Thursday’s debate. CNN previously reported that allies urged Trump to focus on immigration and other issues during the debate.

In recent days, Biden allies have anticipated Trump’s attacks on the debate stage and shared campaign ways the president could gain the upper hand on immigration and urged the campaign to tackle the issue head-on.

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The Biden campaign has repeatedly sought to draw a stark contrast between the two candidates — often pointing to Trump’s controversial family separation policy, which campaign officials believe still resonates with voters and is reminiscent of what happened during Trump’s presidency.

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