In speech, Biden pitches 'high-tech' border security after halting wall construction
US Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, an Iowa Republican who attended the event, shares her insights.
President Biden addressed one of his administration's biggest weaknesses during his speech before a joint session of Congress Wednesday night, looking to draw Republican critics over to his side on the issue of border security.
The GOP has largely condemned Biden for moving away from the Trump administration's strict border policies, blaming the president for the ongoing surge of migrants that has resulted in people crossing the souther border in record numbers. On Wednesday, Biden looked to Republicans to join him in passing an immigration bill, claiming it will provide resources for security, despite previously halting construction on the border wall that had been underway.
"If you believe we need to secure the border, pass it because it has a lot of money for high tech border security," Biden said in his speech.
A fact sheet about the bill that the White House circulated on Biden's first day in office said it would authorize funding for the homeland security secretary to "to develop and implement a plan to deploy technology to expedite screening and enhance the ability to identify narcotics and other contraband at every land, air, and sea port of entry."
This technology includes scanners that would screen private and commercial vehicles crossing at ports of entry and rail crossings.
The fact sheet also said the bill would authorize the use of "flexible solutions and technologies" to secure the border between ports of entry.
Biden had made the turning back of Trump immigration policies one of the key planks in his 2020 presidential campaign. On his first day in office, the president signed an order halting construction of the border wall that Trump had begun.
According to a Fox News Poll, voters give Biden his worst job ratings on border security and immigration. By an 18-point margin, more disapprove (52%) than approve (34%) of his performance on immigration. Views are nearly identical on border security, as just over half disapprove (51% vs. 35% approve).
Earlier this month, however, The Washington Times reported that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is considering restarting construction in order to fill gaps in the wall that were left when Biden ceased work on the project.
Fox News' Adam Shaw and Dana Blanton contributed to this report.