Biden called on members of Congress to take action on immigration, which he said has long been too politically divisive an issue.
“Let’s end our exhausting war over immigration,” Biden said. “For more than 30 years, politicians have talked about immigration reform and we’ve done nothing about it. It’s time to fix it.”
He challenged critics who don’t like his plan to come together to “at least pass what we all agree on.” He mentioned offering protections for young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers as an example of an area where compromise was possible.
Biden only briefly mentioned the surge of migrants at the southern border, over which he has drawn criticism from Democrats and Republicans.
“We also have to get at the root problem of why people are fleeing, particularly to our southern border, from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador,” Biden said. “The violence, the corruption, the gangs, the political instability, hunger, hurricanes, earthquakes, natural disasters.”
He voiced confidence in Vice President Harris’s ability to tackle the issue. Biden recently announced that she would take the lead on it.
Afterward, Biden received criticism from a border state Democrat.
“While I share President Biden’s urgency in fixing our broken immigration system, what I didn’t hear tonight was a plan to address the immediate crisis at the border, and I will continue holding this administration accountable to deliver the resources and staffing necessary for a humane, orderly process as we work to improve border security, support local economies, and fix our immigration system,” Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) said in a statement.