Biden to vow overhaul of immigration system
President Biden on Wednesday will call on Congress to pass his proposal to reform the U.S. immigration system during his prime-time address to a joint session of Congress.
The Washington Post reported that Biden’s push is part of a renewed effort by the administration to tackle immigration after other legislation and issues have garnered more focus during his first 100 days in office.
The president will reportedly tout a bill introduced by his administration earlier this year that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants as well as increased funding for security at the U.S.-Mexico border.
His efforts come amid increased GOP criticism of the administration’s response to a surge of migrants, and in particular young undocumented children, at the border. In February, U.S. officials stopped around 100,000 people at the border, a nearly 300 percent increase from February of 2020.
The president has in recent weeks appointed Vice President Harris to negotiate with Northern Triangle countries in Central America seen as primarily driving the migrant surge — El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — and work on solutions to regional issues causing thousands to flee in the hopes of reaching the U.S.
Harris has faced criticism from some Republicans for not visiting the border directly, even as she engages in the administration’s efforts to address the root causes of the immigration issue.
As part of his address Wednesday, Biden will also call for lawmakers to pass targeted, smaller portions of his immigration agenda if possible, according to the Post, which reported that he will urge the Senate to move on House-passed bills expanding a path to citizenship for “Dreamers,” or those who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, as well as one that would extend legal status to undocumented farmworkers.
The issue is a point of concern for the Biden administration, as the president’s approval rating on the issue of immigration remains underwater and far lower than his approval rating on other issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Republicans are expected to hammer Democrats on the issue of border security heading into the next midterm cycle, which will conclude next year.
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