Anita Dunn, President Biden’s highest-ranking White House aide, said Thursday that congressional critics of the administration’s strategy to deal with high levels of unauthorized arrivals at the US-Mexico border should focus on reforming the outdated US immigration system.
In an interview with CBS News political correspondent Caitlin Huey-Barnes on “America Decides,” Don called on lawmakers to “update our immigration laws to reflect the reality of 2023,” noting that the last time Congress passed major immigration legislation was decades ago. In 1990.
“It’s interesting to hear members of Congress criticize this administration that it’s been 37 years since Congress last passed immigration legislation in this country. And they all know that,” said Donn, who serves as a senior adviser to Mr. Biden. “The fundamental issue here is that those laws need to be updated.”
Don noted that the administration is acting unilaterally to “manage border issues.” 1,500 soldiers Efforts to provide operational support to Border Patrol agents at the US-Mexico border, establish immigrant processing centers in Colombia and Guatemala, and increase the number of beds in immigrant detention centers.
Throughout his tenure, Mr. Biden has faced sharp criticism from Republicans and some Democrats over how his administration has handled a record number of migrants at the southern border. But criticism has intensified recently as border officials prepare to end a pandemic-era emergency rule, known as Title 42which allowed migrants to be turned back without their asylum claims being heard.
The termination of Title 42, due to the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11, is expected to cause a sharp increase in illegal crossings at the southern border. Although the influx of immigrants has already increased in recent days, the Border Patrol is preparing more than 10,000 immigrants a day to enter U.S. custody starting next week.
The Biden administration has said recently announced measures, including increased deportation flights, restrictions on asylum eligibility and an expanded legal immigration program, will help the United States manage post-Title 42 immigrant arrivals and discourage immigrants from crossing into the United States without permission.
But Republicans, moderate Democrats and local officials have warned that the surge in immigration threatens to overwhelm shelters, volunteers and communities along the southern border. Democratic mayors in New York and other big cities that have taken in immigrants also say they need more federal support.
On Thursday, Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina said he plans to introduce independent Arizona Sen. Kirsten Sinema. a bill Which, if enacted, would allow border agents to continue deporting immigrants without a public health order under Title 42 deportations. Without sufficient Democratic support, however, the measure would face steep odds in the Democratic-led Senate.
Asked whether the administration would support such a bill, Dunn said the White House had not yet seen the proposal.
But he noted that “the bipartisan nature of it will probably help bring together a larger coalition in Congress to fix it.”
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