White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded at a press briefing Friday to a request from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to meet about the crisis on the Southern border.
Psaki said Biden is currently focused on rolling back former President Trump’s policies on border security and immigration.
“Well, first, the president and this administration’s focus is on digging out of the dismantled and inhumane immigration approach of the last administration,” she said during the afternoon briefing.
Biden’s new approach has triggered a flood of migrants at the southern border. Border agents detained nearly 100,000 migrants in February, up from 78,000 in January with more expected in the upcoming months.
McCarthy wrote a letter to Biden Friday requesting a meeting to discuss the border crisis.
“I feel compelled to express great concern with the manner in which your administration is approaching this crisis, but with hope that we can work together to solve it,” McCarthy wrote in the letter.
When asked about McCarthy’s letter, Psaki referred reporters to Biden’s proposed immigration bill, which would offer amnesty to the more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.
[T]he president has proposed an immigration bill that would not only address the root causes that [House Minority] Leader McCarthy referenced in his letter, but would move beyond the policy of funding ineffective border walls by investing in smart security at ports of entry and would also create a pathway to citizenship.
Any discussion with Biden on immigration, Psaki said, should begin with a path forward to pass his proposed amnesty bill.
“We would welcome the openness or desire to engage on that from the leader or any Democrat or Republican who wants to have a conversation about a constructive path forward,” she said.