Joe Biden on Tuesday launched a frontal attack on Donald Trump, his likely rival in November's presidential election, whom he accused of manipulating the Republican Party to block any migration policy reform and any new aid to Ukraine.
• Also read: Congress votes on a package for Israel that Biden rejects
• Also read: No presidential immunity for Donald Trump
“Donald Trump would rather exploit this problem (immigration) than solve it,” thundered the Democratic president, who rarely so openly attacks his predecessor, during a speech at the White House.
At stake is a reform project blocked by the opposition that would require more police at the borders and stricter asylum procedures and that would give the president the power to simply close the border with Mexico if the number of migrants exceeds a certain threshold.
This bill, which parliamentarians from both camps have laboriously negotiated for weeks, also depends on the resumption of American military aid to Ukraine, which has been interrupted since the end of December, and new aid to Israel.
“Supporting this bill means opposing Putin. Resisting this would play into the hands of the Russian president, said the Democrat.
Joe Biden called for around $60 billion for Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel. He will only have it if the Senate and then the House of Representatives, which together make up Congress, vote on the text.
Even passage in the Senate, which the Democrats control but do not have a qualified majority, currently appears to be at risk.
As for the House of Representatives, its president, Republican Mike Johnson, has already said that the text is “stillborn.”
The tone between the 81-year-old Democrat, who is running for a second term, and the Republican Party, already in battle formation behind former President Donald Trump, the overwhelming favorite in the primary, has worsened further in recent days .
Conservatives have been calling for tightening immigration policies since the start of Joe Biden's term in office, while arrivals at the border with Mexico show no signs of slowing down – for example, more than 300,000 migrants were detained at the border in December.
However, the campaign for the November elections has already come to the fore, as neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump face any serious competition for the nomination of their respective parties.
And the former Republican president certainly has no intention of handing his rival a political victory and taking away one of his favorite arguments in the election campaign.
Donald Trump, who is increasingly violent against migrants accused of “poisoning the blood of the country,” repeats that the Democrat has turned the border into a sieve.
The argument seems to be working: in a recent poll released by NBC, 57% of voters surveyed believe that Donald Trump would do better than Joe Biden when it comes to controlling immigration.
There is therefore no question for Republicans to support a project that Joe Biden presents as “the fairest” but also “toughest” on immigration in decades.
The American executive, for example, argues that the text has received the support of a border police union that considers it “not perfect” but that the reform is better than a “status quo”. The same union, emphasized Joe Biden, called for people to vote for Donald Trump in 2020.
The Democratic president hopes to turn this opposition from the right in his favor.
“Every day until November, Americans will know that if the border is not secure, it is only because of Donald Trump,” he said.
“It’s time for Republican lawmakers to show some courage,” he said.