(CNSNews.com) – White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the Trump administration made a “mess” of the U.S. immigration system, which it passed along to President Biden.
“Just in terms of comprehensive immigration reform, which obviously the president has called on Congress to enact over and over again, what is his sort of theory of the case right now for getting that done? Will he be taking his own actions to do outreach to members? Does he basically consider that a top priority going into the new Congress?” a reporter asked.
JEAN-PIERRE: So, first of all, it is a top priority. I mean, the president put forth a comprehensive immigration reform on day one. So, him doing that that first day of office, the first day that he walked into the administration and sat behind the Resolute Desk clearly states that this is a priority for him and will continue to be so, and look, we will continue to call on Congress to act.
That will not stop, and look, I also want to just put this in a broader context here. The president inherited a mess because of what the last administration did.
They herited [sic] a — we inherited a mess, and, you know, Republicans in Congress made it worse by blocking comprehensive immigration reform, and so what you’re seeing from this president is he’s acting — he’s acting to protect — to continue to protect the border, secure the border, and also deal with irregular migration. That is what he’s going to continue to do that.
So the enforcement measures we announced yesterday will result in more, not fewer, legal pathways for migration, while easing the pressures on our broken immigration system, which has been broken for decades, and so the NGOs and the border communities that support those arriving at our southwest border, but, honestly, yes, the president made an announcement.
He’s made this a priority. He’s made other announcement before today on what we’re doing at the border by — especially with the historic funding that he’s put forth, but in order to fix what is happening currently is to make sure that we have comprehensive immigration reform, and that’s what he’s going to continue to call on.
He was very eloquent yesterday. He talked about the history of this country. He talked about how we were a country of immigrants. He talked about our responsibility, but at the same time, we have to make sure it is done in a legal way and that we have pathways — additional pathways for folks to do that.
REPORTER: I guess we have a pretty good sense of what it looks like, typically, when the president sees something as being a top, urgent legislative priority. So, you know, will we be getting readouts of him making phone calls to lawmakers? Will we see members coming here? Will he sort of throw everything he has at this problem that he says he wants to get fixed?
JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, there’s been many initiatives that we have gotten done, especially historic pieces of legislation that the president has done in the past two years, that we haven’t laid out everything, right? If we think about the Inflation Reduction Act, we didn’t lay out every step of who he was talking to. Matter of fact, most of you all were surprised when that was announced — the Inflation Reduction Act was announced.
So, look, the president is going to continue to have conversations with member of Congress. His team will do that on a array of issues that matter to this White House, and it matters to this White House because it matters to the American people, and so that’s what we’re going to continue to do.
I do want to address something that was asked abo- — that you, Michael, had asked about the lack of support that we have received. Look, I have — you know, we’ve heard from mayors across the country as well who have supported, you know, the president’s announcement yesterday.
And so, for example, Mayor — Mayor Todd Gloria, San Diego, California: The president’s measures “will help expedite legal pathways for orderly migration and increase funding to nonprofits doing lifesaving work in our communities.” That matters.
Mayor — Mayor Ron — Mayor of San Antonio, Texas: “In lieu…” — and this is Texas — “In lieu of much-needed congressional policy” — as I’ve stated, which is so important; and he tweeted this — the president “new action humanely addresses the influx of asylum seekers entering the U.S.”
Eric Adams — Mayor Adams had — who has been critical — right? — of us — said: It’s “an important, positive step.”
And so — and I have a few more. Den- — the Denver mayor; the Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser; and also Mayor Lightfoot — they all have said — have said they support the President’s actions, and I think that’s important to note as well.
Look — look, we know there’s more work to do. We absolutely know that, and what the president is doing is he’s using the tools in front of him right now to address a really critical and important issue.
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