Murphy Urges Biden to Tackle Immigration Proactively, Warns Against GOP Division

Amid political discord, border security discussions reach a standstill

by Zain ul Abedin
Murphy Urges Biden to Tackle Immigration Proactively, Warns Against GOP Division
© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senator Chris Murphy is actively encouraging President Joe Biden and fellow Democrats to adopt a proactive stance on immigration. This call to action follows the collapse of a bipartisan border deal, which Murphy played a significant role in negotiating.

The deal's failure was primarily due to opposition from Republicans, spearheaded by former President Donald Trump, who deemed the proposal inadequate. Murphy, representing Connecticut, expressed his views on ABC News' "This Week" with co-anchor Jonathan Karl, emphasizing the widespread American desire for robust legal immigration paired with stricter border control.

He pointed out that currently, only the Democratic Party supports both pathways to citizenship and the expansion of legal entry into the United States, alongside enforcing stringent border laws. The senator also commended President Biden for his recent visit to the border, where Biden called on Trump to withdraw his objection to the border agreement.

This move comes at a crucial time when immigration remains a paramount concern for many Americans, despite widespread disapproval of Biden's handling of the issue.

Immigration Bill Stalled

Murphy criticized Republicans for using immigration as a tool to sow division, highlighting their opposition to what he describes as the most substantial border security bill in decades.

The Senate's proposal sought to link significant new foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan with funds to bolster security at the southern border and revamp immigration laws, incorporating conservative priorities to limit crossings in certain scenarios.

However, the Republican Party quickly dismissed the bill, arguing that its provisions were insufficient and would not effectively address the situation. In response, Biden has considered using executive action to impose tighter asylum restrictions, a move previously reported by ABC News.

Despite the potential for executive action, Murphy underscored the limitations of such measures, noting that Biden cannot replicate the $20 billion in resources that the bipartisan bill would have provided for border security.

He also refuted the possibility of Biden altering asylum rules through executive orders, a fact he believes Republicans are well aware of. Murphy contends that the chaos at the border serves the political interests of Trump and his Republican allies.

He argues that if Democrats and the President can effectively communicate this narrative, it could neutralize the Republicans' political advantage on immigration issues. This strategy is crucial, especially in light of ABC News/Ipsos polling that indicates voters trust Trump more than Biden on immigration matters.

The senator also addressed concerns over Biden's approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza, particularly about calls for a permanent ceasefire and adjustments to military aid to Israel. Despite the political implications, Murphy believes that decisions on the Middle East should prioritize national security and regional stability over electoral considerations.

He advocates for the President to leverage all available means to achieve a lasting ceasefire, emphasizing the critical nature of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the broader implications for social order in the region.