The Democrats are fighting amongst themselves, snapping back and forth over one of the most contentious, seemingly intractable contemporary problems: immigration.
Criticism from within the Democratic Party
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Times recently that immigration is the Biden administration’s “weakest issue.”
“Immigration is arguably this administration’s weakest issue,” AOC said. “This is one area where our policy is dictated by politics, arguably more so than almost any other. 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 soe 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 narrative that have surrounded immigration.”
AOC added that “We also need to examine the root causes of this migration and address that this problem doesn’t start at our border, but it starts with our foreign policy.
As you might imagine, AOC’s criticism was poorly received at the White House.
The White House Responds
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded to AOC’s comments, saying that President Biden has “done more” to secure our border and address immigration “than anybody else.
“The president has done more to secure the border and to deal with the issue of immigration than anybody else. He really has,” Jean-Pierre said.
“Look, the president has done what he can from here, from the federal government, from the White House to put forth and manage our border in a safe and humane way to respect the dignity of every human, as he says all the time, and making sure that our communities are safe.”
Jean-Pierre continued, adding that “the system is broken” and that Republicans “refuse to work with the White House in a “bipartisan way.”
On the Defensive
After addressing AOC’s comments, Jean-Pierre was asked why Biden did not meet with New York Governor Kathy Hochul this week after Hochul had pressured the White House to take executive action in helping New York integrate a recent influx of over 100,000 asylum seekers.
Jean-Pierre said that Biden didn’t just blow off the meeting (he sent his DHS Secretary and his chief of staff) and that the president maintains a good relationship with the New York governor.
“Look, the president has a lot of it on his plate,” Jean-Pierre said.
“As you said, this is an important US important issue as well. But when you have the chief of staff, when you have the Secretary of Homeland Security, they’re meeting with the governor. I think that shows how important the president thought meeting was to make sure he had his top people speaking with her as well.”
AOC Angry About Immigration
Will AOC, a representative of New York, be satisfied with that answer? Probably not. During her interview The Times, AOC emphasized that New Yor needed a “partnership from the federal government” to address the influx of migrants.
“And I have not been shy around criticism of how the Biden administration has handled this issue,” AOC said. “New York City is the front line on this, and we have regularly asked the administration for many, many different avenues of relief.”
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.
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