President Biden claimed Tuesday “I’ve done all I can do” to secure the U.S. border, as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is facing an impeachment push by House Republicans over his perceived failure to handle the immigration crisis.
Biden made the comment while speaking to reporters as he was leaving the White House, saying “I’ve done all I can do, just give me the power.”
“I asked them the very day I got into office,” Biden continued. “Give me the Border Patrol. Give me the judges. Give me the people who can stop this.”
The Biden administration has said it has been expanding “lawful pathways” for migrants while increasing consequences for illegal entry into the U.S. since the ending of Title 42 expulsions in May last year. It has pointed to more than 500,000 removals since May, as well as increased cooperation with Mexico to crack down on human smugglers and fentanyl trafficking.
The administration also says it has been increasing removal flights — including directly to Venezuela. However, it has stressed that it needs more funding and comprehensive immigration reform to fix what it says is a “broken” system.
House Speaker Mike Johnson shared a video on X of Biden making the remark and said Biden’s comments were “simply untrue” and “He’s either lying or misinformed.”
“Here are just a few of the authorities at his disposal – if only he would use them: Presidential Authority to Restrict Entry 212(f), Expedited Removal 235(b)(1), Discretionary Detention Authority 236(a), Mandatory Detention 236(c). No more excuses,” Johnson added.
The White House requested $14 billion in funding for the border as part of its supplemental funding request to Congress, which also includes aid to Ukraine and Israel. The request is being negotiated in Congress after Republicans demanded more limits on asylum and migrant releases into the interior.
Biden has urged Congress to pass the deal, but House Republicans and some conservatives in the Senate have said the reported proposals do not go far enough.
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd, when asked on “The Faulkner Focus” Tuesday if Biden was doing everything he could, argued “absolutely not.”
“In fact, I’m very sick of hearing all of his rhetoric. He doesn’t give evidence,” Judd said. “The evidence is incontrovertible [about] what is going on right now. Secretary Mayorkas is complicit in allowing these individuals to violate our laws. Congress would be derelict if they did not hold him accountable.
“When you look at the total number of people that cross our borders illegally and have been released into the United States, the story that doesn’t get told enough is what happens to those people that get released into the United States,” Judd added. “They are never leaving, ICE doesn’t go after them, ICE doesn’t deport them.”
Migrant numbers officially hit 302,000 in December, a new record, after 2.4 million encounters in FY23. Republicans have said that large releases into the interior and a rolling back of Trump-era policies have fueled the crisis and have accused Mayorkas of a “dereliction of duty” in his handling of it.