Ohio Democrat: Biden 'very independent' on border, not pressured by progressives

Rep. Greg Landsman (D-Ohio) brushed off accusations that progressives are influencing President Biden’s border policy on Sunday, describing the president as “very independent” on the issue.

The concerns were raised after Biden appeared to back off promises to use executive action to act on the border, following mass criticism from progressives. The left wing of the Democratic Party has been critical of the president over his willingness to embrace hard-line immigration policy, which they argue is reminiscent of former President Trump.

“I don’t think so,” Landsman said of progressive influence in a NewsNation “The Hill Sunday” interview with Chris Stirewalt. “The President is very independent on this issue. It’s a very complicated, but truly important issue, and he’s leaned into pretty dramatic changes to the asylum process. Changes that I and the majority — a bipartisan majority — of us support.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) loudly voiced her criticisms last month.

“Doing Trump impressions isn’t how we beat Trump,” she said, adding that Biden considering executive action to stop the asylum process was “outrageous.”

Biden and Democrats have repeatedly called on House Republicans to take up immigration reforms proposed in a bipartisan Senate bill that was shot down last month. Biden has pinned the blame for border inaction on Republicans, claiming they are holding out because of the 2024 election.

Landsman lauded Biden’s offered reforms and urged action from House GOP leadership.

“[We need] way more Border Patrol agents, more asylum judges. You got to get the process from six years to six months. And you got to give the administration the authority to close the border,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll have a Congress in the next year that will take on comprehensive immigration reform, which the American people have asked for.”

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