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White House says Republicans are obstacle to border security: ‘We did our job’

The White House slammed House Speaker Mike Johnson and the GOP House conference for opposing a bipartisan border security package endorsed by President Biden.

The White House on Friday insisted that House Republicans stand in the way of a solution to what President Biden has called a “broken” immigration system.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre would not comment on reports that Biden may take executive action to secure the border, other than to blame House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and the House GOP conference for inaction on immigration. 

“For the past several months, we worked with Republican senators and also Democrats in the Senate to try to come up with a fair and tough piece of legislation that would deal with border security,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at the daily White House press briefing. She noted that a bipartisan deal reached last month had been endorsed by the Border Patrol union before it was declared “dead on arrival” by Johnson.


“Speaker Johnson has gotten in the way of this,” she added later. “We did our job. The Senate did their job in a bipartisan way. 

BIDEN ADMIN WEIGHS EXECUTIVE ACTION ON BORDER CRISIS, DRAWING FIRE FROM LEFT AND RIGHT

The Senate bill endorsed by Biden would have increased staffing and resources at the border while limiting the ability of migrants to claim asylum and providing additional funding to communities and NGOs receiving migrants. However, conservatives have said the bill does not go far enough and would normalize high levels of illegal immigration.  

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Earlier Friday, Biden told members of the National Governors Association that Congress needs to pass bipartisan immigration reform. 

“Congress has had a long, proud history — a bipartisan history — on immigration reform and abiding by our international treaty obligations, which we signed related to immigration. These reforms made America a nation of laws, a nation of immigrants and the strongest economy in the world,” the president said. “But something changed. Over time, our laws and our resources haven’t kept up with our immigration system, and it’s broken. And our politics has failed to fix it.” 

He described the failed Senate bill as the “most fair and humane reforms in a long time.” 

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“I didn’t get everything I wanted in it. It also included the toughest set of reforms to secure the border ever in history. The Border Patrol chief himself said, ‘We need more people. We need more agents on the line,’” he said. 

“Our bipartisan bill got the Border Patrol the agents they need. It funded and hired 1,500 more agents and officers, 100 more immigration judges, 4,300 more asylum officers to get asylum decisions in months instead of years,” he continued. 

SEN BILL HAGERTY SAYS DEMS ENGAGING IN ‘SHEER POWER GRAB’ BY TOLERATING BORDER ‘CARNAGE’

He also blamed Johnson for the bill’s failure. 

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“But then, as we all know, petty politics intervened. The speaker of the House has refused to vote on the bill, even though, again, there’s significant support,” Biden said. “Talk to your Republican colleagues, there are the votes on that floor to pass that bill. All of a sudden, people started to go silent, but they’re in a tough spot. Tell that to the Border Patrol that we can’t get this done.” 

With immigration reform stalled in Congress, multiple outlets reported that the White House is eyeing potential executive action to tackle the migrant crisis. An administration source told Fox News that the president is considering executive action to restrict the ability of migrants to claim asylum, but that it’s one of “several” plans being looked at.

Jean-Pierre told reporters Friday that no final decisions have been made and refused to comment on any “individual policy option” that’s being considered. 

“We want to make sure, the president has been very clear, he wants to make sure that our country is safer and we need more border security, obviously, to secure our border. And we want to do it while treating people fairly and humanely.” 

Fox News Digital’s Greg Norman contributed to this report. 

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