WH’s Jean-Pierre baffled at suggestion Biden could use border powers


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White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre brazenly fought back after being asked why Joe Biden hasn't used his executive powers to deal with the border crisis. The press secretary, 49, admitted on Wednesday that Biden does have the power to curtail the ever-growing migrant ordeal - but she snapped back: 'Why should he?'

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre brazenly fought back after being asked why Joe Biden hasn’t used his executive powers to deal with the border crisis. The press secretary, 49, admitted on Wednesday that Biden does have the power to curtail the ever-growing migrant ordeal – but she snapped back: ‘Why should he?’

President Biden took 94 executive actions to reverse Donald Trump 's border policies after taking office - but has refused to issue any as migrant numbers have surged. A deadlocked Congress has repeatedly failed to agree measures to cut illegal crossings at the southern border, which topped more than 2.5 million last year.

President Biden took 94 executive actions to reverse Donald Trump ‘s border policies after taking office – but has refused to issue any as migrant numbers have surged. A deadlocked Congress has repeatedly failed to agree measures to cut illegal crossings at the southern border, which topped more than 2.5 million last year.

Despite this, Jean-Pierre seemed baffled at the suggestion that the president should take the initiative, when she was asked why he would not. She demanded: 'Why should he have to do it unilaterally? Why shouldn't we do it in a legislative way?' Congress was given no say as executive orders flowed thick and fast in the early days of the administration to ditch Trump's Remain in Mexico policy, halt construction of the border wall and increase job opportunities for those that got through.

Despite this, Jean-Pierre seemed baffled at the suggestion that the president should take the initiative, when she was asked why he would not. She demanded: ‘Why should he have to do it unilaterally? Why shouldn’t we do it in a legislative way?’ Congress was given no say as executive orders flowed thick and fast in the early days of the administration to ditch Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy, halt construction of the border wall and increase job opportunities for those that got through.

White House sources have repeatedly hinted he would take executive action to curtail crossings, most recently last week when outlets reported plans to shut the border should migrant crossings reach 4,000 per day. But the president has played down the prospect in public, in the face of opposition from progressives in his party.

White House sources have repeatedly hinted he would take executive action to curtail crossings, most recently last week when outlets reported plans to shut the border should migrant crossings reach 4,000 per day. But the president has played down the prospect in public, in the face of opposition from progressives in his party. 

He has complained that the courts might strike down any action he took, and demanded that Republicans in Congress should get on board first. 'We're examining whether or not I have that power,' Biden told Univision's Enrique Acevedo in an interview last month. 'Some are suggesting that I should just go ahead and try it, and if I get shut down by the court, I get shut down by the court.'

He has complained that the courts might strike down any action he took, and demanded that Republicans in Congress should get on board first. ‘We’re examining whether or not I have that power,’ Biden told Univision’s Enrique Acevedo in an interview last month. ‘Some are suggesting that I should just go ahead and try it, and if I get shut down by the court, I get shut down by the court.’ 

But the White House again rowed back on the idea at the daily press call on Wednesday. 'You need legislation, you need it to happen in a bipartisan way,' Jean-Pierre claimed. 'What I will say is it is long past time to get this done, to get this moving. We were able to get a bipartisan negotiation, a plan forward on an issue that many Americans care about, an issue that matters for our immigration system, for what's happening at the border. And that's a good thing.'

But the White House again rowed back on the idea at the daily press call on Wednesday. ‘You need legislation, you need it to happen in a bipartisan way,’ Jean-Pierre claimed. ‘What I will say is it is long past time to get this done, to get this moving. We were able to get a bipartisan negotiation, a plan forward on an issue that many Americans care about, an issue that matters for our immigration system, for what’s happening at the border. And that’s a good thing.’

It came as Oklahoma became the latest state to be sued by the Biden Administration over attempts to make illegal immigration a state-level crime and allow local cops to act as immigration officers. Officials had anticipated a legal challenge from the Biden Administration, who has already sued Texas and Iowa over similar laws. 'Regrettably, this administration has adopted a one-size-fits-all, they're the federal government and they know best, all states are stupid and unconstitutional,' Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond told a local outlet.

It came as Oklahoma became the latest state to be sued by the Biden Administration over attempts to make illegal immigration a state-level crime and allow local cops to act as immigration officers. Officials had anticipated a legal challenge from the Biden Administration, who has already sued Texas and Iowa over similar laws. ‘Regrettably, this administration has adopted a one-size-fits-all, they’re the federal government and they know best, all states are stupid and unconstitutional,’ Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond told a local outlet.

A cross-party bill to tighten immigration controls collapsed after months of negotiation in February after Donald Trump claimed the president already had the power to control crossings and demanded that Republicans vote against it. Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows the President to block the entry of immigrants deemed 'detrimental' to national interests. President Trump repeatedly leaned on that section of the law during his time in office to shut-out certain immigrants crossing illegally and seeking asylum at the southern border.

A cross-party bill to tighten immigration controls collapsed after months of negotiation in February after Donald Trump claimed the president already had the power to control crossings and demanded that Republicans vote against it. Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows the President to block the entry of immigrants deemed ‘detrimental’ to national interests. President Trump repeatedly leaned on that section of the law during his time in office to shut-out certain immigrants crossing illegally and seeking asylum at the southern border.

Immigration overtook inflation as the number one concern of voters in polls in February and the issue looks certain to be a key political battleground in November's presidential election. And there are signs that public opinion is hardening with a Reuters/Ipsos poll this week suggesting that 56 percent of voters want the government to round up and deport most or all immigrants in the U.S. illegally. The Senate will vote later this week on a new bipartisan measure that would fund thousands more Border Patrol agents, invest in technology to catch drug traffickers, and increase the number of immigration officers in a bid to cut the years-long backlog of asylum cases. It would also make explicit the president's ability to take action unilaterally within the law.

Immigration overtook inflation as the number one concern of voters in polls in February and the issue looks certain to be a key political battleground in November’s presidential election. And there are signs that public opinion is hardening with a Reuters/Ipsos poll this week suggesting that 56 percent of voters want the government to round up and deport most or all immigrants in the U.S. illegally. The Senate will vote later this week on a new bipartisan measure that would fund thousands more Border Patrol agents, invest in technology to catch drug traffickers, and increase the number of immigration officers in a bid to cut the years-long backlog of asylum cases. It would also make explicit the president’s ability to take action unilaterally within the law.

'We are hopeful this bipartisan proposal will bring serious-minded Republicans back to the table to advance this bipartisan solution for our border,' Senate leader Chuck Schumer wrote to Congressional leaders. Jean-Pierre urged Congress to unite behind the new bill, and 'every senator to put partisan politics aside and vote to secure the border'. But the new bill is expected to go the way of the last one in the face of a bipartisan rebellion, putting more pressure on the President to take unilateral action.

‘We are hopeful this bipartisan proposal will bring serious-minded Republicans back to the table to advance this bipartisan solution for our border,’ Senate leader Chuck Schumer wrote to Congressional leaders. Jean-Pierre urged Congress to unite behind the new bill, and ‘every senator to put partisan politics aside and vote to secure the border’. But the new bill is expected to go the way of the last one in the face of a bipartisan rebellion, putting more pressure on the President to take unilateral action.

His press secretary's refusal to entertain the idea after accepting the premise that he could sparked fury on social media. 'The president saying 'it's not my job' like he works at Arby's is wild,' tweeted one. 'If securing borders isn't part of a President's job, then what's next? Whose job is it, the Easter Bunny's?' wrote another. 'He broke it, why should you expect him to fix it?' is a helluva take,' added a third.

His press secretary’s refusal to entertain the idea after accepting the premise that he could sparked fury on social media. ‘The president saying ‘it’s not my job’ like he works at Arby’s is wild,’ tweeted one. ‘If securing borders isn’t part of a President’s job, then what’s next? Whose job is it, the Easter Bunny’s?’ wrote another. ‘He broke it, why should you expect him to fix it?’ is a helluva take,’ added a third.

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