Former U.S. President Donald Trump Brandon Bell/Getty Images.

Former President Donald Trump said he will use local police to carry out deportations of immigrants who crossed the southern border illegally should he be elected in this year's elections.

Trump made the statement in an interview with Fox News following his trip to the border on Thursday, which took place on the same day as one from President Joe Biden. Trump, who went to Eagle Pass, Texas, said that "we have to deport a lot of people, and they have to start immediately."

He also said he would give "immunity" to police officers to do "the job they have to do." "It's going to be the local police are going to turn them over, and we're going to have to move them back to their country," he added.

Trump's choice to travel to Eagle Pass was symbolic, as border crossings in the area have dropped following a series of unilateral measures taken by Texas' Greg Abbott administration, including the setting of barbed wire and the blocking of federal forces trying to reach the area. The federal government has presented a series of lawsuits challenging the decisions.

Texas also passed a law which enabled local police to arrest and deport migrants suspected of being in the United States without authorization. In addition, it classified these illegal crossings as a Class B misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to six months in jail.

However, a federal judge blocked the law, known as SB4, on Thursday. David Ezra, a federal judge serving in the District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, issued a preliminary injunction just days before the law was set to take effect.

SB4, Ezra said in his verdict, "threatens the fundamental notion that the United States should regulate immigration with one voice." Ezra's determination comes amid a debate between Democrats and Republicans regarding the handling of immigration policies by the Trump and Biden administrations.

Biden was also at the border on Thursday, but he went to Brownsville, a city in the Rio Grande Valley that has historically seen large influxes of migrants. There he met with Border Patrol, law enforcement and local officials before giving his remarks.

During the speech, Biden emphasized the need for more resources, highlighting the backlog of asylum cases being faced by USCIS. Hearing a response on an asylum case takes more than 6 years.

U.S. President Joe Biden
U.S. President Joe Biden Photo by: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

"They desperately need resources. It's time for us to move on this. We can't wait any longer," the President said as he re-frames himself as a leader focused on solutions in the face of immigration backlash.

Notably, the President communicated his disapproval of the recent bipartisan bill that was struck down by Republicans, who were encouraged by Trump. The president said, if Congress had passed the bill, it would've given him the ability to temporarily "shut down the border." He also encouraged Congress to reconsider the bill.

According to a new Gallup poll published on Tuesday, an increasingly growing number of Americans consider immigration to be the most important problem facing the country, above the government and the economy.

Overall, 28% of respondents said that was the case in February, an increase of eight percentage points compared to the previous month. It has surpassed the government (20%) and the combination of the "economy in general" (12%) and inflation (11%), over this time period.

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