ARIZONA NEWS

President Joe Biden urges Congress to pass border security bill during State of the Union speech

Mar 7, 2024, 8:00 PM | Updated: 11:02 pm

Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene interrupted President Joe Biden while he was discussing the border secu...

Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene interrupted President Joe Biden while he was discussing the border security bill. (Photos by Win McNamee, left, and Shawn Thew-Pool, right/via Getty Images)

(Photos by Win McNamee, left, and Shawn Thew-Pool, right/via Getty Images)

PHOENIX — During his State of the Union speech on Thursday night, President Joe Biden urged Congress to work together to pass the bipartisan border security bill Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema worked on.

“Oh, you don’t like that bill, huh? That conservatives got together and said was a good bill? Well, I’ll be darned,” he said.

Biden went on to list various benefits the bill would have provided, such as adding new policies that would enable immigration officials to resolve asylum cases in six months instead of six years.

“If it’s only six months … the idea is it’s highly unlikely that people will pay that money and come all that way knowing that they’ll be kicked out quickly,” Biden said.

He added that politics have derailed the bill, which would have saved lives and bring order to the border.

“I’m told my predecessor called Republicans in Congress and demanded they block the bill. He feels it would be a political win for me,” Biden said. “It’s not about him or me.”

Although his speech touched upon immigration, he originally didn’t intend to mention crimes committed by people who are in the U.S. illegally, according to a transcript shared with KTAR News 92.3 FM.

However, an interruption from Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene led him to go off-script.

What did Marjorie Taylor Greene say during Biden’s State of the Union speech?

Biden typically shies away from the topic of noncitizens committing crime on U.S. soil.

He is a vocal supporter of immigrants and has critiqued comments from former President Donald Trump as “anti-immigrant.”

While Biden was talking about Trump, Taylor Greene shouted, “What about Laken Riley?”

She was referring to a nursing student who was murdered while jogging at the University of Georgia in late February.

Riley’s killer was a Venezuelan man who entered the U.S. illegally, according to the Associated Press.

“Laken Riley, an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal. That’s right,” Biden said. “But how many thousands of people (are) being killed by illegals?”

Biden tells leaders to pass the bipartisan border security bill

Biden then urged country leaders to change the dynamic at the border.

He said undocumented migrants will pay smugglers thousands of dollars to cross the border because they know they’ll get a hearing in six to eight years.

“My Republican friends owe it to the American people: Get this bill done,” he said. “We need to act now.”

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President Joe Biden urges Congress to pass border security bill during State of the Union speech