President Biden barely touched the polarizing subject of immigration in a State of the Union address focused on bipartisanship.
Nearly an hour into his Tuesday speech before a joint session of Congress, Biden made a quick detour into immigration, doing his best to frame it as a bipartisan issue.
“Let’s also come together on immigration and make it a bipartisan issue like it was before,” the president said in a segue from gun control, another hot-button topic.
Biden then followed up the other theme for his speech — his own administration’s policy successes — touting the record number of personnel at the border, fentanyl seizures and the immigration parole plan that’s had a promising first month, reducing immigration from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela by as much as 97 percent.
“But America’s border problems won’t be fixed until Congress acts,” Biden warned.
The GOP-led House has focused its immigration policy initiatives on oversight of the administration’s implementation of current law, rather than any look at reform.
Biden appeared to set a lower bar than previous presidents, calling for funding and targeted legalization bills rather than comprehensive reform.
“If we don’t pass my comprehensive immigration reform, at least pass my plan to provide the equipment and officers to secure the border and a pathway to citizenship for “Dreamers,” those on temporary status, farm workers, essential workers,” he said.
Biden then pivoted to reproductive rights, another issue unpopular with Republicans.