EAGLE PASS, Texas, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Billionaire Elon Musk weighed in on the U.S. immigration debate on Thursday, visiting the Texas border with Mexico to meet with local politicians and law enforcement to get his “unfiltered” view. of the situation.
Musk’s visit comes amid an increase in the influx of thousands of migrants in recent days who have traveled on freight trains and buses to northern Mexico and then crossed the US border to seek asylum in Texas, Arizona and California.
The sharp increase, particularly around San Diego, California and the Texas border cities of El Paso and Eagle Pass, follows an earlier slowdown in unauthorized border crossings following a new asylum policy by Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration that encouraged such measures.
Musk visited Eagle Pass, where for days a throng of migrants had been wading across the Rio Grande near a railroad bridge at Eagle Pass, untouched by coils of razor wire placed along the river’s banks by the Texas National Guard.
Wearing a black T-shirt, black cowboy hat and aviator-style sunglasses, Musk emphasized a two-pronged approach to overhauling US immigration laws in a video-selfie posted on X, the social media platform Twitter acquired last April. .
He called for “expedited legal clearance” as part of a “vastly expanded legal immigration system” that would welcome “hard-working and honest” immigrants, while barring entry to “lawbreakers.”
“We want to do two things — soften legal immigration and stop the flow of people so much that we’re leading to the collapse of social services,” Musk said.
Musk, a native of South Africa, referred to his own status as an “immigrant in America” and called himself “very pro-immigrant.”
The chief executive of Tesla ( TSLA.O ) and SpaceX, Musk has increasingly inserted himself into American politics.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hosted his Republican presidential campaign on Twitter in May, causing the service to crash. Earlier this month, he said he had turned down a Ukrainian request to use the Starlink satellite network for its defense against Russia, and last week he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. .
In a 4-minute video clip, he introduced Republican Tony Gonzalez of Texas, whose district stretches more than 800 miles along the border, who welcomed Musk and said people along the Texas border “really feel abandoned.”
Musk has more than a little interest in the Texas economy. Tesla’s Gigafactory Texas plant is located in Austin and SpaceX operates a large test and launch facility in Boca Chica, near Brownsville, on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Reporting by Brian Sinter in Eagle Pass, Texas; Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Scott Malone and Michael Perry
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