White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed assertions made by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, emphasizing that President Joe Biden has undertaken substantial measures to secure the southern border and address immigration challenges, exceeding the actions of his predecessors.
Jean-Pierre’s remarks emerged following Ocasio-Cortez’s comments to the New York Times, in which the congresswoman deemed immigration the Biden administration’s “weakest issue.” Jean-Pierre defended Biden’s approach, asserting, “The president has done more to secure the border and to address immigration concerns than anybody else. He really has!” She reiterated the administration’s commitment to handling the border situation humanely and ensuring community safety.
Acknowledging the limitations and challenges within the system, Jean-Pierre attributed the lack of bipartisan progress to the Republicans’ refusal to collaborate with the White House.
In her New York Times interview, Ocasio-Cortez criticized the administration for prioritizing political considerations in shaping immigration policies. She highlighted a reluctance to adopt recommendations from progressive lawmakers due to concerns about potential political backlash and Republican narratives surrounding immigration.
Karine Jean-Pierre also responded to inquiries about President Biden’s absence from a meeting with New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who advocated for executive action to support the integration of over 100,000 asylum seekers in the state.
Jean-Pierre clarified that while Biden didn’t attend the meeting, he dispatched key officials, including DHS Secretary Mayorkas and his chief of staff, underscoring the meeting’s significance. She noted the president’s substantial workload and the importance of the officials’ presence as indicative of the administration’s commitment to addressing the matter.
Jean-Pierre concluded that despite the president’s hectic agenda, his administration remains committed to engaging with crucial issues, exemplified by the high-level representation in meetings like the one with Governor Hochul.