In order to safeguard the United States from any criminal elements slipping in through the southern border, the Biden administration sought a “record” amount of investment in security measures, according to White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
While underscoring that the Biden administration is “working hard to secure the border” and has troops stationed there to assist the Border Patrol, Kirby threw shade at Republicans for blocking the “record” level of border funding the Biden administration pursued from Congress earlier this year.
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“We still have troops that are down there assisting Border Patrol officers to try to focus on this. We asked for record levels of funding for DHS. Unfortunately, there was no Republican support for that,” Kirby told Fox News Digital.
In April, Republicans opposed a funding request from the Biden administration to address the expiration of the pandemic-era Title 42 policy, which denied immigrants entry at the border to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Republicans had been opposed to allowing that policy to expire in the first place.
Kirby was pressed on whether he thought it was a smart policy to enable an open border amid remnants of terrorist groups, such as the Islamic State and al Qaeda, reportedly operating in the region. So far, the U.S. had a record 2.3 million arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border for the fiscal year of 2022, which ends Friday.
“We are working hard to secure the border through trying to invest in advanced capabilities,” Kirby stressed in response to Fox Digital. “So, we’re going to keep at this, and we obviously want to certainly encourage more support coming from the Republican side for some of the things that we’re trying to do.”
A number of Republican-led states have begun sending illegal immigrants to cities run by Democrats in protest of the mass influx, including asylum-seekers pouring through the southern border. Earlier this month, for example, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent two busloads of immigrants close to the residence of Vice President Kamala Harris.
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In addition to border security concerns, Kirby also lambasted Russian President Vladimir Putin for leaning on nuclear weapons as “blackmail” against the West.
“I can tell you, we’ve seen no indication that tells us we need to change our strategic deterrent posture. Rather than blustering and claiming he’s being blackmailed by other nations around the world, he needs to end the war,” the National Security Council spokesman said. “He needs to pull his troops out. It could end today if he would do the right thing.”