President Biden once again refused to call the chaos plaguing America’s southern border a crisis on Saturday, insisting that he’s “been pushing for fundamental change” there.
“I wish they would react,” Biden said of Republicans in Congress. “I’ve been pushing them — my Republican colleagues — since I got into office. I think we have to make major changes at the border.”
Senate negotiators continue to butt heads over border security measures tied to a major $106 billion bill that would also include military aid for Ukraine and Israel.
Among major concerns still lingering are changes to the United States asylum system as well as immigration parole policy.
Earlier this week, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) met with Biden to discuss border security and encouraged him to use executive authority to secure the southern border.
During the meeting, Johnson reiterated actions the Biden administration could take to secure the southern border, which he previously shared in a Dec. 21 letter to the president, NBC News reported.
These include hashing out agreements with other nations like Canada to take in U.S. asylum seekers along with blocking undocumented immigrants from crossing the border at ports of entry.
Official numbers have yet to be released, but in December, at least 276,000 migrants encountered Customs and Border Protection agents along the United States-Mexico border. For fiscal year 2023, ending Sept. 30, CBP recorded more than 2.4 million encounters with migrants at the southern border.