President Joe Biden called on Congress during his State of the Union address Tuesday to help him secure the southern border, saying his administration has already taken action to impeded the number of migrants crossing the border.
Biden’s first year in office has seen record-breaking numbers of migrant crossings, with apprehensions steadily rising throughout the year. Biden said his administration has already made many efforts to cut down on border crossing.
“If we are to advance liberty and justice, we need to secure the border and fix the immigration system. We can do both,” Biden said. “At our border, we’ve installed new technology like cutting-edge scanners to better detect drug smuggling. We’ve set up joint patrols with Mexico and Guatemala to catch more human traffickers.”
Biden made no mention of his appointment of Vice President Kamala Harris as his administration’s border czar. Harris has taken multiple trips to South and Central America in an effort to cut back on the “root causes” of illegal immigration, such as poverty and violence in migrants’ countries of origin. Harris’ efforts have been met with criticism, however, and have made little impact.
Biden also called for creating a path to citizenship for Dreamers as well as farm workers who have illegally immigrated to the U.S.
‘We can do all this while keeping lit the torch of liberty that has led generations of immigrants to this land—my forefathers and so many of yours,” he said. “Provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those on temporary status, farmworkers, and essential workers. Revise our laws so businesses have the workers they need and families don’t wait decades to reunite.”
“It’s not only the right thing to do—it’s the economically smart thing to do,” he added.