Biden’s border policies would likely be extended if this swing state Dem governor is the new nominee

Jul 10, 2024 | Latest News | 0 comments

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With continuing pressure on President Biden to step aside for a different 2024 Democratic nominee amid questions about his mental acuity, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro has been floated as a potential candidate to replace him.

As governor of one of the most closely-watched swing states and one that could decide the 2024 election, what does his current record suggest about how he would handle the border crisis which has gripped the U.S. for over three years?

Shapiro ruled himself out as a replacement for Biden last year, saying he fully expected Biden to run and would not be a candidate even if he stepped aside. He said that he intends to serve all four years as governor.

WHAT WOULD A PRESIDENT PRITZKER DO ON IMMIGRATION, BORDER CRISIS?

“The answer is no. I just asked the good people of Pennsylvania to be their governor,” Shapiro said in an interview with KDKA

“This type of baseless speculation is just a distraction – and it is unhelpful to accomplishing what we need to do this November: defeat Donald Trump at the ballot box,” Shapiro spokesperson Manuel Bonder told Fox News Digital on Tuesday.

As Pennsylvania’s attorney general, Shapiro was a loud voice of opposition to some of former President Trump’s border policies. In 2018, he was one of a number of attorneys general who filed a lawsuit against the practice of separating some families at the border. That policy was eventually scrapped, and the Biden administration has reached a settlement with families that were separated.

Shapiro called the policy “abhorrent” and “inconsistent with U.S. asylum laws, and is fundamentally at odds with our core principles and values.”

Shapiro also threatened legal action in 2019 over Trump’s declaration of a national emergency in order to divert funding to the ongoing border wall project.

HOW WOULD A PRESIDENT WHITMER HANDLE IMMIGRATION, BORDER CRISIS? 

“I am deeply concerned about the legality of President Trump’s national emergency declaration and its impact on Pennsylvania. Congress has allocated tens of millions of dollars to our Commonwealth that could be diverted for this fictional emergency—but the federal government has not yet provided clear guidance on their funding sources,” he said.

As governor, Shapiro has taken a similar stance to President Biden on what needs to be done to solve the crisis at the border. Shapiro has called on Congress to pass reforms to fix what many moderate Democrats say is a “broken” system. His solutions, like Biden’s, include a pathway to citizenship for some illegal immigrants.

“Washington D.C., needs to get its act together,” he said on Sirius XM in January. “We need comprehensive immigration reform, we need to have a secure border. And I think we also need to make sure those who follow the rules get a pathway to citizenship. Republicans and Democrats alike have failed to solve this problem over many administrations.”

More than perhaps some other potential candidates, Shapiro has also emphasized the need to secure the border. In an interview with the Washington Post in March, he did just that and took aim at former President Trump for allegedly torpedoing the bipartisan Senate package that was introduced in January but has failed to secure votes to pass the chamber.

“Immigration is an important issue to many people in Pennsylvania and across the country — and it should be. It’s an important issue to me. We need to secure our border. We need to make sure there is a path to citizenship for those who are here. And we need to clear rules of the road for those who want to migrate to this country,” he said.

“I think it is shameful that we had an opportunity to pass a bipartisan bill on immigration and Donald Trump chose to put himself before country, as he always does, and inject more chaos into our immigration system by telling Republican sycophants to be against this in the House of Representatives,” he said.

He has also pushed back against pressure from state Republicans to send the National Guard to the border, as a number of other states have done. 

“The last thing in the world I’m going to do is put the brave women and men of the Pennsylvania National Guard’s lives at risk to be part of some political squabble at the border that [Texas] Governor [Greg] Abbott has created,” he said in March.

Those positions are similar to President Biden’s, who has called for Congress to pass the same bills, and has blamed Republicans and former President Trump for their failure to arrive at his desk.

Biden has since taken executive action, including a move last month to limit arrivals at the border when they reach a certain level.

Republicans have pushed back, saying it is the policies of the administration that have caused the crisis. They have called for a return to Trump-era policies, and House Republicans passed a sweeping bill last year that includes measures such as restarted wall construction, severe limits on asylum and the restoration of the Remain-in-Mexico policy.

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