(Washington) Joe Biden attacked Donald Trump head-on on Tuesday, his very likely rival in the November presidential election, whom he accused of manipulating the Republican Party to block any reform of migration policy and any new aid to the ‘Ukraine.
“Donald Trump prefers to exploit this issue (of immigration) rather than resolve it,” thundered the Democratic president, who rarely attacks his predecessor in such an open manner, during a speech from the White House.
At stake: a reform project blocked by the opposition, which provides for more police officers at the borders, stricter asylum procedures, and which gives the power to the president to purely and simply close the border with Mexico, in the event of Migrant arrivals above a certain threshold.
This bill, painstakingly negotiated for weeks by parliamentarians from both camps, also depends on the resumption of American military assistance to Ukraine, interrupted since the end of December, and any new aid to Israel.
“Supporting this bill means opposing Putin. To oppose it is to play into the hands of the Russian president, said the democrat.
Joe Biden asked for around $60 billion for Ukraine, and $14 billion for Israel. He will only have them if the Senate, then the House of Representatives, which together make up Congress, vote on the text.
At present, even an adoption in the Senate, which the Democrats control, but without having a qualified majority, seems compromised.
As for the House, its president, Republican Mike Johnson, has already said that the text was “stillborn”.
The tone had continued to rise in recent days between the 81-year-old Democrat, candidate for a second term, and the Republican Party, already in battle order behind former President Donald Trump, the overwhelming favorite in the primary.
Conservatives have been demanding, since the start of Joe Biden’s mandate, a toughening of immigration policy, while arrivals at the border with Mexico are not slowing down – more than 300,000 migrants having been arrested at the border in December, For example.
However, the campaign for the November election has already entered the heart of the matter, since neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump faces any really serious competition for the nomination of their respective parties.
And the former Republican president certainly does not intend to give his rival a political victory, and deprive himself of one of his favorite campaign arguments.
Donald Trump, using ever more violent language against migrants accused of “poisoning the blood” of the country, repeats that the Democrat has transformed the border into a sieve.
The argument seems to work: in a recent poll made public by the NBC channel, 57% of voters surveyed believe that Donald Trump would do better than Joe Biden to control immigration.
There is therefore no question for Republicans of supporting a project that Joe Biden presents as “the fairest”, but also “the toughest” in terms of immigration in decades.
The American executive argues, for example, that the text received the support of a border police union, which judges that it is “not perfect”, but that the reform is better than “the status quo”. . This same union, underlined Joe Biden, had called for voting for Donald Trump in 2020.
The Democratic president hopes to turn this opposition from the right in his favor.
“Every day between now and November, Americans will know that if the border is not secure, it is only because of Donald Trump,” he said.
“It is time for Republican parliamentarians to show a little courage,” he demanded.