Trump's Border Intervention Gives Biden a Chance to Shift from Defense to Offense – The New York Times
After three years under fire for record illegal migration on his watch, the president blames his predecessor for preventing action to secure the southwestern border.
Reporting from Washington
When President Biden agreed to bipartisan talks on border legislation last fall, Democratic strategists hoped a deal might take the issue off the table for his re-election campaign.
But with the collapse of the resulting bipartisan immigration agreement on Wednesday at the hands of former President Donald J. Trump, Mr. Biden got something else instead: someone to blame.
The crisis at the southwestern border has been one of the most vexing challenges of Mr. Biden’s presidency, one that has defied his policy prescriptions and drained his public support. With record numbers of migrants illegally crossing into the country, the president has come under pressure from Democrats as well as Republicans to take more action.
For three years, Mr. Biden struggled to offer voters a compelling answer to the question of why the border has turned into such a crisis on his watch. He has avoided public discussion of the issue as much as possible, preferring to focus his messaging on other priorities. But with Mr. Trump’s intervention persuading congressional Republicans to abandon the border deal that they themselves had demanded, Mr. Biden finally has an opportunity to shift from defense to offense.
“The American people are going to know why it failed,” he declared in a televised speech at the White House. “I’ll be taking this issue to the country, and the voters are going to know that it’s not just a moment — just at the moment we were going to secure the border and fund these other programs, Trump and the MAGA Republicans said no because they’re afraid of Donald Trump.”
“Every day between now and November,” he added, “the American people are going to know that the only reason the border is not secure is Donald Trump and his MAGA Republican friends.”
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