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Biden urges GOP leaders to revive immigration bill opposed by Trump

John Harney, Bloomberg News on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden urged the Republican leaders of the House and Senate in calls on Monday to revive a bipartisan immigration measure that failed after Donald Trump proclaimed his opposition.

In his conversations with Speaker Mike Johnson and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Biden “reiterated that congressional Republicans should stop playing politics and act quickly to pass this bipartisan border legislation that would add thousands of Border Patrol agents and personnel, invest in technology to catch fentanyl and combat drug trafficking,” the White House said Monday night.

That statement was released as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he was putting the compromise legislation “back on the floor,” more three months after Johnson declared it “dead on arrival.”

The bill still stands almost no chance of passage, with Trump unyielding, Johnson presiding over a very narrow majority in the House and the election less than six months away. Yet with immigration and a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border still a concern for voters, the Democrats have been keen to seize the initiative on the issue and make the case that Republicans bear responsibility for the lack of progress.

The legislation put forward in February would restrict illegal border crossings, make it harder to apply for asylum and speed up deportations of undocumented migrants but also make more visas for legal immigration available. Both Schumer and McConnell supported the bill, which was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

 

But Trump, who has made criticism of Biden’s border policies a centerpiece of his campaign, condemned the deal in a social media post as “a great gift for Democrats and a Death Wish for The Republican Party.”

Biden, however, has also taken steps that don’t require congressional approval to show a tougher stance on migration.

Last week, the Homeland Security and Justice Departments announced that asylum reviews would be expedited to prevent migrants from waiting in the U.S. for years while their claims are pending. Biden is weighing a broader executive action designed to constrain illegal migration if the legislative effort fails.

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