Immigration system needs to be ‘modernised’ and Congress should act: White House

Washington: The Biden administration has said that America’s immigration system needs to be “modernised” and Republicans, who control the Congress, should take action on it rather than use it as a “political stunt or a political tool”.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at her daily news conference on Monday, said the opposition Republican party is not interested in resolving the issue of immigration and has not actually come to the table to have a conversation on how to protect Dreamers and farmworkers.

“On his (Joe Biden) first day in this administration, the President put forth comprehensive immigration legislation…how he understood that the system had been broken. It needs to be modernised,” she said in response to a question.

“He has asked Congress to take action – Republicans in Congress to take action and to take – and to work on this in a bipartisan way,” she added.

“He’s put forth some tools to make sure we deal with the immigration system in a humane way, and that actually deals with what we’re seeing at the border… But we know that more action needs to be taken. So it has to be legislative action,” Jean-Pierre told reporters.

However, she said that Republicans have used this as a political stunt.“As we’ve seen, Republicans have continued to use this as a political stunt, a political tool, and not actually come to the table to have a conversation on how to protect Dreamers and farm workers. You know, more immigration judges and asylum officers are needed. More funding for border security is needed,” Jean-Pierre said.

“This is something that we have put forward in that legislation and so much more. They don’t want to do that. They want to do political stunts, as we’ve seen from governors and mayors across the country,” she alleged responding to a question on comprehensive immigration reform in particular on legal immigration.

Then-President Barack Obama launched the 2012 DACA initiative to shield from deportation immigrants who were brought to the US illegally by their parents as children and to allow them to work legally in the country.

DACA, an acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a policy that protects young people – known as “DREAMers”.

The programme does not grant them official legal status or a pathway to citizenship, but it does allow them to apply in some places.

An estimated 580,000 people were still enrolled in DACA at the end of last year, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

In 2021, the US House of Representatives passed bills providing a pathway to citizenship for immigrants nicknamed “Dreamers,” as well as for a large number of immigrant farmworkers.