Rep. Jayapal criticizes Biden over border stand, massive backlog in legal immigration,reiterates call for overhaul 

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington. (Photo: profile photo)

Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat from Washington state, who is the Ranking Member of the Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement Subcommittee, expressed disappointment over President Biden’s statement on using executive authority to “close the border.” She also criticized the massive backlog in processing of those who come in legally, a complaint Indian immigrants and skilled workers have leveled repeatedly against administrations over the years.

“I am extremely disappointed to see the President discussing plans to use executive authority to ‘shut down the border’ and limit the ability of people to seek asylum in the United States,” Jayapal said in her statement issued April 10, 2024.

“Democrats cannot continue to take pages out of Donald Trump and Stephen Miller’s playbook — we need to lead with dignity and humanity. 30 years of data shows that enforcement-only approaches do not work.”

She conceded that President Biden had been right to put forward a bill for comprehensive humane immigration reform when he first came into office, and his recognition that former President Donald Trump’s policies had not worked.

“It is therefore even more disappointing to hear President Biden’s recent comments,” she asserted calling for an overhaul of the broken immigration system.

“What we need is for the President to continue to showcase the need for fundamental reforms to the immigration system that allow for efficient legal pathways for migrants to enter the United States, for more resources to allow the immigration system to work, and for a clear recognition of the contributions of immigrants to our country at every level.”

According to Jayapal, the lack of change in the legal immigration system had led to current problems. “The truth is that the situation at the border is directly linked to the fact that the legal immigration system has not been modernized in 30 years, leaving it defunct and in chaos,” Jayapal said.

Jayapal pointed to the massive backlog in processing applicants through the legal pathway.

“When the legal process is so backed up that it takes decades for legal residents to get their children into the country, or when employers simply can’t hire the people they need because there’s a backlog of 2 million people who haven’t been processed, or when we have so few immigration judges that asylum seekers must wait over 8 years to get their cases heard—people turn to unscrupulous actors, including cartels, who promise them they can get in by going to the border,” Jayapal said.

She accused Republicans of “consistently” blocking even bipartisan reforms and for opposing solution Democrats have proposed “because they want to keep immigration out there as a political issue, rather than solving the problem.”

“We know what works: expand lawful pathways and adequately fund the immigration system. This will help relieve pressure on the border and create a more orderly, safe, and humane process,” Jayapal said.

“As someone who came to this country alone at 16, who has worked to advance immigrant rights for over 20 years, I know we must lead with the vision of an America that welcomes immigrants and establishes a safe and orderly immigration system,” Jayapal said.



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