A significant number of elected Democrats criticized President Joe Biden over what they describe as inaction regarding the current migrant crisis. The split within the Democratic Party highlights both the concern regarding border security as well as a possible political fracturing for the president ahead of the 2024 election.
Among the Democrats criticizing the White House’s approach, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (D) wrote that her state “stepped up to address what sadly has been a federal crisis of inaction that is many years in the making.”
Massachusetts is currently facing more than 20,000 migrants in state-operated shelters. The state had previously asked residents to consider allowing migrants to stay in their homes to help stem the crisis.
The criticism for Biden extended into Democratic Party-controlled Chicago. The city has faced its own wave of migrants as well as a significant public pushback against plans to use public buildings, including a former high school, as a shelter.
Alderman Raymond Lopez (D) invited Biden “to see firsthand what we are forced to do while waiting” for federal authorities. He further wrote that the city’s 12 migrant facilities “are pushing our city to the brink unnecessarily.”
Perhaps the most prominent Democrat criticizing the president is New York Mayor Eric Adams (D), who previously criticized Republican governors who sent migrants to other locations. However, Adams has said more recently that the Biden administration “turned its back” on his city.
“Every service in this city is going to be impacted by the asylum seeker crisis,” he said. New York currently faces a more than $4 billion deficit, partially driven by the current wave of illegal immigrants in the city.
Several officials closer to the U.S.-Mexico border also criticized the White House, including two Democrats and an independent.
Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) said last year that the situation at the border was “crisis after crisis.”
Sen. MARK KELLY had harsh words for his own party’s immigration policies in a debate with his Republican challenger BLAKE MASTERS… “I’ve spent a lot of time on our southern border, and let me just say it’s a mess. It’s a chaos. It’s crisis after crisis… .” @playbookdc
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) October 7, 2022
Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) also criticized Biden and is the only Democratic governor in the country to ship migrants out of her state.
Perhaps the sharpest criticism has come from Democrat-turned-independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), who said that “D.C. has shown little regard for the actual crisis that’s occurring in Arizona.”