Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez sharply criticized President Joe Biden’s record on immigration issues today, at one point comparing the Democratic president to Republican Donald Trump.
“It’s deeply troubling to me that the Biden administration, like the administrations that came before it, has really chosen to implement short-term punitive measures to discourage migration to our southern border,” Menendez said. “I strongly oppose these measures as well as their decision to bring back failed Trump policies like a transit ban and rapid, credible fear interviews.
The New Jersey senator has introduced The Menendez Plan, which he says will provide the Biden administration with a strategic blueprint to manage migration and refugees in the Western Hemisphere while securing the U.S. borders.
“My strategy, which has both short-term and long-term solutions, is an effort to effectively manage the cycle of mass migration at the southern border,” Menendez said on a press call sponsored by America’s Voice, an advocacy group. “And this does not come in in replacement of my long-term, multi-decade goal of comprehensive immigration reform, but is to deal with the realities as we face them right now, both in terms of the politics of the Congress and what is possible.”
The Menendez plan seeks to reduce pressure at the Southwestern border by creating new legal pathways and an expansion of existing pathways. It also proposed increased resources to process those seeking asylum and “remove people without legal claims to stay in the U.S.”
The senator’s proposal includes expanding humanitarian assistance and developing financing to improve the integration of migrants and refugees and to “elevate efforts to counter transnational criminal organizations involved in human trafficking and smuggling.”
Menendez wants a “more holistic approach that better aligns with our party’s commitment to protect people seeking refuge, which is also has been our nation’s commitment, while also safely and fairly removing people who do not have legal claims to stay in the United States.”
“The Menendez plan is a strategic and evidence-based way to address the root causes of mass migration to ease pressure at the border while still preserving our asylum system and to pursue border security policies that live up to our nation’s values,” he said.