Politics

Warren pushes congressional Republicans for deal on immigration

ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Sunday pushed congressional Republicans for a comprehensive deal on immigration after a bill was blocked earlier this year.

Warren, a member of the national advisory board for President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign, defended the president’s patchwork of executive actions after she claimed Republicans caved to former President Donald Trump by blocking bipartisan legislation to beef up border security, among other things.

“Right now, Joe Biden is using the tools available to him to try to do as much as he can. But keep in mind there was a deal that had been hammered out. In my view, it only had part of what was necessary, but it was a bipartisan deal. And we were just two days short of voting on it when Donald Trump said no, and the Republicans walked away,” Warren told “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz.

“He can’t deal with it if Congress and the Republicans continue to block him,” she added when pressed on the spike in border apprehensions under Biden compared to those under Trump. “And so, the president is using the tools available to him, both to create border security, but he doesn’t have the resources because the Republicans are blocking access.”

During Biden’s term so far, there have been more than 6.9 million border apprehensions, according to compiled data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. There were under 2.1 million such apprehensions during Trump’s four years in office, according to compiled CBP data.

Warren’s comments come as Democrats still point to Republicans’ rejecting a bill crafted by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz.; James Lankford, R-Okla., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., earlier this year.

Among other things, the bill would have implemented funding for beefed-up border security and additional immigration judges, while also allowing Biden to declare a border emergency and turn migrants away if unauthorized crossings averaged 4,000 or more each day at the southern border over the course of seven consecutive days.

After the bill failed, Biden has leaned on executive orders and actions to grant his administration the ability to declare such an emergency while also offering protections for undocumented spouses of American citizens. He cannot, however, create new funding for border security and judges — money that can only be allocated by Congress.

“He can’t manufacture more judges, he can’t manufacture more guards if Congress doesn’t give him the resources to do that. The president is out there doing everything he can, not just at the border but overall for families. And the action he took in this last week is exactly Joe Biden being Joe Biden,” Warren said.

Liberals have been torn over Biden’s executive actions. Many were pleased with the order announced this past week allowing undocumented spouses to stay in the country, but others — including Warren — criticized his move in early June to allow his administration to declare a border emergency and restricting asylum claims at the border.

“I understand President Biden’s urgency to make changes at the border, but we can — and should — do better than a functional ban on asylum,” she said earlier this month.

Warren, who debated Biden during the 2020 Democratic primary, also forecasted that the president would present a contrast between his economic vision and Trump’s at this Thursday’s debate.

“He’ll be out there for working families,” Warren said. “He’s going to say $35 insulin, and 5 million people have seen their student loan debts canceled. He’s going to talk about getting rid of junk fees and how his administration is going after the price gougers at the oil pump and the grocery store, and that’s the contrast with Donald Trump.”

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