President Joe Biden declared Tuesday that “I’ve done all I can do” to secure the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional support, according to a report.
But House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., is firing back, insisting that Biden’s claim is “simply not true.”
As reported by the New York Post, Biden made his remarks while speaking to a reporter before leaving the White House grounds en route to Florida for some campaign fundraising.
“I’ve done all I can do. Just give me the power. I’ve asked from the very day I got into office,” he was quoted as saying. “Give me the Border Patrol, give me the people, the judges — give me the people who can stop this and make it work right,” he added.
The president is trying to muster congressional support for a bill that ties stepped-up border protections to further military aid for Ukraine. The proposal has encountered resistance in the House, where Johnson himself this week declared it dead on arrival in his chamber.
Johnson, reacting to Biden’s appeal, offered a blunt assessment on social media platform X, “That is simply untrue. He’s either lying or misinformed.”
The speaker then went into greater detail, identifying several authorities he said were at Biden’s disposal even now:
- Presidential Authority to Restrict Entry 212(f)
- Expedited Removal 235(b)(1)
- Discretionary Detention Authority 236(a)
- Mandatory Detention 236(c)
Biden’s claim comes as some conservatives, particularly in the House, raise concerns that the White House border security measures being proposed could actually exacerbate the situation at the beleaguered southern border. Though bipartisan Senate talks are continuing, House members have voiced their worry that the proposals could actually attract more migrants to a border already being overwhelmed.
That Republicans are preventing border security reflects recent White House messaging as conservatives, including Johnson, express resistance to the reported details of legislation being discussed in bipartisan Senate talks — which critics say could actually worsen the crisis by drawing more migrants to the U.S.
With millions of illegal immigrants already in the country, Johnson said Friday it’s problematic that any new restrictions in the potential Senate deal could be ignored by Biden. He said the president should make a “good faith” gesture by taking immediate action, the Post said.
GOP lawmakers have pressed the administration to renew stricter border measures from the Trump administration. The Biden White House was quick to halt construction on Trump’s signature border wall and suspend Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy requiring many asylum seekers to stay south of the border while their claims were being processed.
House Republicans have been moving toward a potential impeachment of Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas for failing to enforce detention and other immigration laws.
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