Biden points finger at Trump for border chaos, hints at executive action in Univision interview

In an interview with Univision, President Joe Biden blamed former President Donald Trump for the mayhem at the US-Mexico border, implying that he may take unilateral action to restrict migrant crossings.

Mr. Biden made the statements during an interview with Mexican journalist Enrique Acevedo, as part of his efforts to enhance his reputation among Latino voters.

Republicans have criticized Mr Biden’s immigration policy, with the GOP-controlled House of Representatives going so far as to impeach his Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas.

Last year, crossings along the US-Mexico border hit a record high. The Department of Homeland Security recorded 301,000 migrant interactions in December.

Mr Biden stated that he backed bipartisan negotiations that would have swapped funding to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan in exchange for measures to reduce immigration and strengthen border security.

Biden points finger at Trump for border chaos, hints at executive action in Univision interview

Some Democrats criticized the plan for being too harsh on migrants, but Mr Biden stated that he backed protections for Dreamers, migrants whose parents brought them to the United States as minors.

“I told them I was going to go back and get Dreamers et cetera., but the thing it did do, it provided for a significantly more personnel to make an orderly transfer and allow legal immigration to increase, not decrease and diminish illegal immigration,” he said CNN.

However, the proposal negotiated by Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, independent Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut failed because Republicans opposed it when President Trump did not support it.

This is literally the truth, what happened was when Trump found out that I liked it and I supported it, and I’d get, quote, credit for it, he got on the phone – not a joke – checked with the Republicans and called them and said, don’t be for it, will benefit Biden,” the commander-in-chief remarked.

“When the hell would you vote on a key piece of legislation depending on whether it benefits someone in politics? It is either nice or bad. It was a good piece of legislation, and I will not give up on it.”

During the discussions, Mr. Biden stated that the law would give him the ability to “shut down” the border if more than 5,000 people crossed in one day. Mr. Biden stated that he was willing to take executive action to do so.

Biden points finger at Trump for border chaos, hints at executive action in Univision interview

“There’s no guarantee that I have that power all by myself without legislation,” he went on to say. “Some have urged that I just go ahead and attempt it. And if the court decides to shut me down, I will be shut down. But we’re trying to sort that out right now.”

During his State of the Union speech, Mr. Biden argued with Republicans over their resistance to the law and responded to Republicans who wanted him to mention Laken Riley, who was allegedly killed by someone in the United States illegally. Some members of Mr Biden’s party criticized him for using the term “an illegal.”

Mr. Biden also responded to requests from Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has called for the lifting of sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba, the provision of $20 million to countries with the highest levels of migration to the United States, and relief for undocumented Mexicans in the country as a means of reducing border crossings.

“Before Obrador even came up with that plan, I initiated it years ago,” Mr. Biden added, accusing Mr. Trump of canceling it. “We did and it was working for a while until they cut it off.” He stated that the approach helped create jobs in Latin American countries, lowering the motivation to leave for greater opportunities in the United States. “People do not want to leave where they are from. People want to be able to make a living and would prefer to do it where they are.

Mr Biden said he got along well with Mr López Obrador, also known as AMLO, who is leaving government this year following Mexico’s election.

“I find him straightforward,” Mr. Biden stated. “He’s never teased me. He understands exactly what he wants. He keeps his word. That’s about all I can ask.

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