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27 Jan, 2024 07:41

Biden promises to shut border if lawmakers pass budget deal

The immigration issue has been “broken,” and “it’s long past time to fix it,” the US president has conceded
Biden promises to shut border if lawmakers pass budget deal

US President Joe Biden has again urged Republican lawmakers to approve a long-stalled budget deal, vowing to shut down his country’s southern border as soon as he’s given the authority to do so.

Republicans have been blocking the White House's attempts to push through a $106 billion ‘national security package’ for Ukraine and Israel since October. They have demanded tougher security measures on the southern frontier be included in the agreement.

”For too long, we all know the border’s been broken. It’s long past time to fix it,” Biden outlined in a written statement on Friday.

He described the border deal, now being negotiated in the Senate, as “the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country.”

“It would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law,” Biden vowed.

Under the bipartisan agreement, the administration would, among other things, be required to shut the border down if the number of migrants trying to get into the US illegally on any given day reaches 5,000, the New York Times reported. This threshold had been surpassed “routinely” in recent months, the paper stressed.

Finding common ground on the immigration deal would be “a win for America,” the president insisted. “If you’re serious about the border crisis, pass a bipartisan bill, and I will sign it,” Biden said, addressing the Republican lawmakers.

The Washington Post described the comments as “a remarkable shift” in the Democratic president’s rhetoric on the immigration issue. The media outlet underscored “the urgency” of the situation on the border for his re-election bid.

Biden’s statement came as Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Friday that if the leaks about the deal’s content were accurate, it would be “dead on arrival” in the lower chamber.

The likely Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, slammed the border deal earlier this week, warning that it “would be another gift to the radical left Democrats.” The agreement “will be meaningless in terms of border security,” Trump argued, reiterating that the only way to solve the immigration issue would be voting for him in November.

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