Biden Pleads With Governors to Persuade Republicans to Pass Border Deal

Emel Akan
By Emel Akan
February 23, 2024Executive Branch
Biden Pleads With Governors to Persuade Republicans to Pass Border Deal
President Joe Biden speaks to governors from across the country during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Feb. 23, 2024. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris hosted the nation’s governors at the White House on Friday during their winter gathering in Washington.

Addressing the governors at the White House, the president highlighted the importance of overhauling border security and immigration policies. He urged the governors to exert pressure on members of Congress to approve the Senate deal that had been recently negotiated.

“There’s one other piece of unfinished business I want to talk about: the border,” the president said before concluding his speech.

He touted the Senate deal, calling it “a significant step.”

“You know that. You deal with this every day. Some of you deal with it every single day. You have real skin in the game,” President Biden said.

“So, if this matters to you and matters to your state, tell your members of Congress who are standing in the way to show a little spine and pass the bipartisan [national] security bill.”

The Biden administration is grappling with a historic crisis at the southern border due to an unprecedented surge of illegal immigrants.

Republicans have blamed President Biden for eliminating and reversing policies put in place by the Trump administration and thus causing chaos at the border.

Polling suggests that American voters trust former President Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner in November’s election, more than President Biden on immigration and border security issues. According to Pew Research, 80 percent of Americans, including 73 percent of Democrats, think the U.S. government has done a bad job handling the illegal immigrant influx, the highest share recorded during Biden’s presidency.

Illegal crossings have surpassed 8.8 million nationwide since President Biden assumed office, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.

Republicans recently walked away from the Senate border deal, arguing that its provisions weren’t strong enough to prevent the influx of illegal immigrants.

“Look, it’s the strongest border deal our country has ever seen. It also includes the most fair and humane reforms for legal immigration in a long time,” President Biden told governors.

“Let’s keep working to fix the entire system. I hope you all can help.”

Governors from over 40 states and territories have gathered in Washington this week for the National Governors Association winter meeting to address various important topics such as housing affordability, artificial intelligence, disaster response, and other key priorities.


According to some critics, however, the Senate deal lacks the tools necessary to address the border crisis.

“It would actually codify a lot of the disastrous policies that the Biden administration has put in place that caused the border crisis,” Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Epoch Times.

Lora Ries, director of the border security and immigration center at The Heritage Foundation, agreed, adding that the Senate bill would “entice more asylum fraud and more illegal immigration.”

“The bill would increase and continue a lot of the asylum fraud in part because it would issue work permits even faster to illegal aliens after they are released,” she said during a press call on Feb. 6.

President Biden is now reportedly considering executive options to restrict migrants’ ability to seek asylum at the U.S.–Mexico border if they cross illegally.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that the executive action “would be an extremely disappointing mistake.”

“Cruel enforcement-only policies have been tried for 30 years and simply do not work,” she stated.

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus also reacted, asking the president not to sign the order.

“Seeking asylum is a legal right of all people. In the face of authoritarian threat, we should not buckle on our principles—we should commit to them,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on X on Feb. 21.

“The mere suggestion is outrageous and the President should refuse to sign it.”

From The Epoch Times

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