President Joe Biden met with American governors at the White House on Monday, but only spoke briefly about migration and the crisis on the southern border.
The president acknowledged that border security was an issue, claiming he was “working a lot with neighboring countries” on the migrant crisis.
But he stressed the most important thing he wanted to do is fix the foreign countries from which migrants were coming.
“There’s a lot to do.” he said. “There’s a lot. I think one of the fundamental things we gotta do in addition to some of the changes we’ll make — we won’t get into them today — is that if we figure out why they’re leaving in the first place.”
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, along with cabinet officials, met with governors from the National Governors Association.
The president argued that migrants only seek to sell their belongings and pay smugglers to take them to the United States out of desperation, not because it would be “fun.”
“There’s gangs we’re working on, there’s a whole lot of illegal movement, but there’s also a way to begin to deal with the reason they’re leaving in the first place,” he said.
White House staff escorted the press out of the meeting before the Q-and-A portion of the event began.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who was charged in March with leading the administration’s efforts on “root causes” of the border crisis, did not mention immigration in her opening remarks, which focused on “historic challenges” faced by state and local leaders.
Instead, she focused on voting rights, calling for “meaningful access to the ballot” for voters across the nation.
Governors of border states continue criticizing Biden for failing to meaningfully address border security.
Last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott delivered remarks at a border security briefing near the border with eleven state attorneys general from around the country.
“Americans are angry that the president is deploying people, risking their lives and spending millions, if not billions, of American taxpayer dollars to secure the borders of other countries that probably will never have any effect in Texas or the United States of America,” Abbott said in an interview with Fox Business on Friday. “But the president will not deploy the resources needed to secure our own border here in the United States.”