Lawmakers on Capitol Hill say Congress has little role to play in solving the border crisis, arguing that the onus largely falls on President BidenJoe Biden – Lawmakers Say Fixing Border Crisis Is Biden’s Job Trump Asks Republicans To Boycott Businesses Amid White House Voting Law Controversy: GOP Has ‘Had Trouble Articulating A Reason’ To oppose the infrastructure plan MORE and federal agencies.
While most members say they will provide more resources if requested by the president, they also note that there is not much they can do on the legislative front.
Senator Jon testerJonathan (Jon) Tester Legislators Say Fixing the Border Crisis is Biden’s Job Five Things to Consider About Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Meet the Senators at the Center of the Obstruction Fight MORE (Mont.), A moderate Democrat, says he doesn’t know what Congress can do right away to address the surge in migrants at the border, many of them unaccompanied children.
“I don’t know that you need legislation. I think what we need is to make sure that the people and the technology are there to stop it, ”he said.
“We also need to work with the other countries to make sure they don’t send people,” he said. “This is how I would approach it.”
Senator Sheldon whitehouseSheldon Whitehouse Lawmakers Say Fixing Border Crisis Is Biden’s Job Democrats Fight For Infrastructure Tax Hikes Democrats Seek To Tax Capital Gains By Dying MORE (DR.I.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said: “Most of what is happening there is within the purview of the executive branch.”
“If they feel they need additional resources, we are obviously here to help,” he said.
Senator Joe manchinJoe Manchin Legislators Say Fixing Border Crisis Is Biden’s Job In 2024 GOP White House Hopefuls Lead Opposition To Biden Haaland’s Cabinet On Drilling Public Lands: Taxpayers Deserve ‘A Return On Their Investment’ MORE (W.Va.), often an outlier in the Democratic caucus, said after visiting the US-Mexico border last week that it is time for Congress to adopt immigration reform to address the growing crisis.
But most Democrats aren’t eager to dive into a divisive and politically dangerous immigration debate when they are unlikely to be able to get the 10 Republican votes needed to overcome Republican filibuster and pass Senate legislation.
Democratic senators say they see little real desire from Republicans to work with them on bipartisan immigration legislation and seem more interested in leveraging the border crisis to score political points.
A delegation of 19 Senate Republicans traveled to the southern border last week to draw public attention to the growing problem. They said migrant children are kept in overcrowded conditions and criticized the Biden administration for not allowing the media access to the facilities.
Republicans want to keep the focus on Biden’s policies rather than highlight their own opposition to various Democratic ideas to reform the nation’s immigration laws.
Some of the president’s top aides are discussing possible reforms to the nation’s asylum system to address a backlog of more than 1 million cases clogging the courts. A disputed approach would authorize the Department of Homeland Security to process more cases.
Senator Lindsey grahamLindsey Olin Graham Lawmakers Say Fixing Border Crisis Is Biden’s Job Graham Cites Hurricane Katrina As Reason For Possessing AR-15 Hunter Biden Criticizes Trump In New Book: ‘A Vile Man With A Vile Mission’ MORE (RS.C.), who played a key role in crafting comprehensive immigration reform that the Senate passed in 2013 before failing in the Republican-led House, said there “could be” a role for Congress to play now.
But he argued that the problem would be addressed more quickly if Biden were to revert to the Trump-era policies he rescinded.
“They need to get back to the policies that were working,” Graham said.
In a deviation from the former President TrumpDonald Trump Lawmakers Say Fixing Border Crisis Is Biden’s Job Trump Calls On Republicans To Boycott Businesses Amid Voting Law Controversy Georgia County Says Elimination Of All-Star Game Will Cost Tourism 0M MOREUnder the immigration agenda, the Biden administration is allowing migrant children or adolescents to enter the country.
The Department of Homeland Security has also reversed Trump’s policy of requiring immigrants seeking asylum to wait in Mexico while their cases are processed in U.S. immigration courts.
US Customs and Border Protection data for February separately showed that less than half of the families detained at the southern border have been sent back to Mexico or their home countries under federal statute. that allows closing the border to non-essential travel based on public health. worries. The Trump administration made extensive use of the statute after it took hold of the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, Biden ordered a halt to the construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border, a characteristic policy of the Trump administration that sparked debate over its effectiveness.
Senator Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) Menéndez Democrats brace for big push to lower drug prices Biden under pressure to explain Cuba policy Senators to Biden: ‘We must face reality’ about Iran’s nuclear program MORE (DN.J.), a proponent of comprehensive immigration reform and a co-sponsor of the 2013 Senate immigration reform bill, said Congress can provide more resources and oversight, but that the White House must approach lawmakers with a Formal request.
“There are resources. There is the question of defending the places in Central America where people can run. [for asylum] directly, ”he said about the things Congress can do.
“If the administration says that’s what they need, then they should come to Congress,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Charles schumerChuck SchumerSchumer: Car Attack Underlines Need for Congress to ‘Address Capitol Security’ Pelosi, Schumer Speaks to Family of Officer Killed in Attack on Capitol Pelosi Calls Assassinated Capitol Officer a ‘Martyr to Our Democracy’ MORE (DN.Y.) made only a passing mention of immigration reform in the letter “Dear colleague” that circulated before the April recess when he laid out the agenda for the return of the legislators on April 12.
“In the coming weeks and months, the Senate will consider legislation to rebuild our infrastructure and fight climate change, boost R&D and domestic manufacturing, reform our broken immigration system, and increase the power of American workers,” Schumer wrote on March 25.
Senate Majority Whip Dick durbinDick Durbin Legislators Say Fixing Border Crisis Is Biden’s Job Number of Immigrants Detained at Southern Border Hits Highest in 15 Years: Reports Grassley and Cornyn Push for Senate Border Hearing MORE (D-Ill.) He told reporters last month that the prospects for passing a comprehensive immigration bill are not good, citing challenges facing Speaker Nancy pelosiNancy Pelosi Legislators Say Fixing Border Crisis Is Biden’s Job Capitol Suspect In Car Attack Suffered Delusions, Suicidal Thoughts: Schumer Report: Car Attack Underlines Need For Congress To ‘Address Capitol Security’ MORE (D-Calif.).
“I think President Pelosi has found that she has no support for the comprehensive bill in the House,” Durbin told reporters. “And it also indicates where he is in the Senate.”
Some Democrats argue that the current border surge began before Biden took office and that Republicans are exaggerating the situation on the ground for political purposes.
Biden said at a press conference last month that there is nothing unusual about the flow of migrants from Central America, many of whom are fleeing violence in their home countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
“The truth of the matter is, nothing has changed,” Biden said. “It happens every lonely year.”
The number of migrants detained at the border reached a 15-year high in March, with more than 170,000 crossings, up from 78,000 in January, according to Preliminary data from Customs and Border Protection Obtained by The Washington Post and The New York Times on Friday.