Biden Is 'Not Advocating for Shutting Down the Border,' His Campaign Manager Insists

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April 2, 2024

President Joe Biden’s campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez insisted Biden is not in favor of closing the U.S.-Mexico border, contradicting the president’s recent claim that he would "shut down" the border immediately if he could.

"The president doesn’t talk about shutting down the border [and is] not advocating for shutting down the border," Chávez Rodríguez told the Washington Post, adding that "what people want to see is order and humanity in our immigration system."

Chávez Rodríguez’s remarks came after Biden in late January repeatedly claimed he would close the border if given the power by a bipartisan Senate bill that was still under negotiation. "[The bill would] give me as president the emergency authority to shut down the border until it could get back under control. If that bill were the law today, I’d shut down the border right now and fix it quickly," Biden said

House speaker Mike Johnson (R., La.) accused Biden of being disingenuous. "President Biden falsely claimed yesterday he needs Congress to pass a new law to allow him to close the southern border, but he knows that is untrue," Johnson wrote in January. "As I explained to him in a letter late last year, and have specifically reiterated to him on multiple occasions since, he can and must take executive action immediately to reverse the catastrophe he has created."

An AP-NORC poll on Friday found nearly 7 in 10 Americans disapprove of Biden’s record on immigration. A Gallup poll in February produced similar results, with 67 percent of Americans disapproving of and only 28 percent looking favorably on how Biden has handled immigration. Biden’s overall approval rating as president dropped 3 percentage points to 38 percent, only 1 point above his all-time low, according to the Gallup poll.