WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden touted the recent decrease in crossings at the southern border while urging Congress to pass bipartisan immigration reform at the State of the Union address Tuesday.
“If you won’t pass my comprehensive immigration reform, at least pass my plan to provide the equipment and officers to secure the border,” Biden said “And a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those on temporary status, farm workers, and essential workers.”
Biden credited his administration’s sending additional agents to the border with “arresting 8,000 human smugglers and seizing over 23,000 pounds of fentanyl in just the last several months.”
Biden’s short remarks on immigration were met with applause from Democratic lawmakers. But shouts of “secure the border” echoed throughout the Republican side of the House chamber.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), who introduced articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last week, said he wants to see Biden “actually enforce the law” at the border.
“You enforce Title 8 with regard to detention until immigration status is adjudicated,” Biggs said “You also continue building the fence; also ICE removals.”
Biden announced new policies in January to allow 30,000 migrants per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to enter the country legally. The plan also allowed the Biden administration to use the Title 42 public health order to expel migrants from those four countries to Mexico.
The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday the lowest monthly number of undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border in two years, with under 130,000 crossings.
House Republicans have started to investigate the Biden administration’s handling of the border, including multiple congressional hearings.
Biden pushed the joint session of Congress to take the lead on immigration reform.
“America’s border problems won’t be fixed until Congress acts,” he said.