White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday said that President Joe Biden has “done more” to secure the souther border and deal with the immigration crisis “than anybody else.”
Her comments come after fellow Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told the New York Times that immigration is the Biden administration’s “weakest issue.”
“The president has done more to secure the border and to deal with this issue of immigration than anybody else. He really has!” Jean-Pierre said Thursday.
“Look, the president has done what he can from here, from the federal government, from the White House to put forth and manage our border in a safe and humane way to respect the dignity of every human, as he says all the time, and making sure that our communities are safe,” she added.
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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
The press secretary went on to say “the system is broken” and that Republicans “refuse to work with the White House in “a bipartisan way.”
In her interview with the New York Times, Ocasio-Cortez stated that “Immigration is arguably this administration’s weakest issue. This is one area where our policy is dictated by politics, arguably more so than almost any other.”
She claimed that the current administration hasn’t listened to her or other progressive lawmakers’ policy recommendations on the issue because they fear political repercussions.
“There are very clear recommendations and suggestions that we have made to the administration to provide relief on this issue, and it’s my belief that some of the hesitation around this has to do with a fear around just being seen as approving or providing permission structures, or really just the Republican narratives that have surrounded immigration,” she said.
Karine Jean-Pierre was also asked why President Biden did not meet with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday. Hochul has pressed the White House to take executive action to help the state integrate more than 100,000 asylum seekers that arrived in the state.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. on the floor of the House of Representatives. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Jean-Pierre maintained that despite missing the meeting, he sent DHS Secretary Mayorkas and his chief of staff — indicating the importance of the meeting — and that he has a “very good relationship” with the governor.
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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
He missed the meeting, she said, because the president “has a lot of it on his plate.”
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“Look, the president has a lot of it on his plate. As you said, this is an important US important issue as well. But when you have the chief of staff, when you have the Secretary of Homeland Security, they’re meeting with the governor, I think that shows how important the president thought meeting was to make sure he had his top people speaking with her as well,” she said.
Fox News Digital’s Gabriel Hays and Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this report.