Joe Biden fights back against AOC’s immigration attack – Following a scathing tirade from what should have been an ally and fellow Democrat, the Biden administration responded to comments from far-left progressive lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, where she told the New York Times that “immigration is arguably this administration’s weakest issue.”
Joe Biden White House Pushes Back on AOC
In a press conference at the White House, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that contrary to the New York representative’s claims, “The president has done more to secure the border and to deal with this issue of immigration than anybody else. He really has!” Jean-Pierre said.
Jean-Pierre proceeded to list the administration’s accomplishments on immigration, such as initiatives that saw the largest month-to-month drop in illegal border crossings.
“We have a record number of federal agents and officers – more than 24,000 – working to secure the border because of the funding this president secured. We brought 21 world leaders, to the West Coast, as you can remember, together for the first time ever to deal with this issue in a regional way, because of the alliances this president has put forth,” she added, also saying that the government has managed to secure “record funding” for border security and expanded the pathway to legal citizenship.
She also defended the president’s decision to skip a meeting with New York Governor Kathy Hochul, saying that the president has a “very good relationship” with the governor and has “a lot on his plate,” especially given the destruction wrought by Hurricane Idalia.
Hochul wanted to meet with Biden regarding “urgent” immigration issues and to press the White House to use executive powers to help New York integrate the mass of asylum seekers in the city. Hochul instead met with the Chief of Staff, Jeff Zients, and other high-level officials.
Blame the Republicans
The White House press secretary pointed to Republican lawmakers as the reason why the U.S. immigration system is still “broken,” saying that the administration acknowledges that bipartisanship is needed for true reform.
“But they keep turning it into a political stunt,” Jean-Pierre said of the GOP. “While he’s (the president) taking steps, on his own (on immigration reform), Republicans have made this an incredibly political issue. They have turn this into political stunts that we’ve seen over and over again.”
“We want to do this in a bipartisan way,” Jean-Pierre said, “But Republicans refuse to do that.”
AOC rails against Biden’s immigration policies
AOC accused the president of being afraid of what Republicans might say, an attitude she said prevents the administration from acting on immigration issues.
“There are very clear recommendations and suggestions that we have made to the administration to provide relief on this issue, and it’s my belief that some of the hesitation around this has to do with a fear around just being seen as approving or providing permission structures, or really just the Republican narratives that have surrounded immigration,” she said.
However, AOC seemingly side-stepped around a question from the NY Times asking if she has visited the border recently.
Responding to the question, “Why haven’t you used your considerable clout as a Latina leader to visit the border and highlight the ongoing issues there now, like you did during the Trump administration?”, Cortez said that a visit is something she is “actively planning on” but her focus now, she said, are immigration concerns that affect her constituents in New York.
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