Joe Biden

Statement on the Senate Vote on Border Security Legislation

May 23, 2024

Congressional Republicans do not care about securing the border or fixing America's broken immigration system. If they did, they would have voted for the toughest border enforcement in history. Instead, today they put partisan politics ahead of our country's national security.

By blocking the bipartisan border agreement, Republicans in Congress said no to legislation that would hire more Border Patrol agents, add more immigration judges and asylum officers to process cases in months and not years. They said no to new technology to detect and stop fentanyl from entering the United States and no to resources to go after drug traffickers. They rejected an agreement that would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to temporarily shut down the border when the system is overwhelmed.

This agreement would have also expanded access to lawful immigration pathways proven to reduce irregular migration, expedited access to work authorization for those who are eligible, and ensured that unaccompanied children who arrive at the border have access to legal counsel. While it did not include everything I wanted, such as finally delivering a pathway to citizenship for "Dreamers," it would have been the largest reform of our immigration laws in decades.

So I want to be absolutely clear: while Congressional Republicans are choosing to stand in the way of border enforcement, I will not stop fighting to deliver the resources that border and immigration personnel need. If you believe, as I do, that we need reform now, doing nothing is not an option. We must make our border more secure, and we must make sure the United States remains a beacon of hope and opportunity. Today, and every day, I remain committed to taking action to address our broken immigration system.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement on the Senate Vote on Border Security Legislation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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