Jun 14, 2022 - Politics

Mike Pence calls for return to Trump-era immigration policies in Phoenix speech

Vice President Mike Pence
Photo: Jeremy Duda/Axios

Former Vice President Mike Pence called for a return to Trump-era immigration and border security policies during a speech in Phoenix Monday.

  • He blamed President Biden for what he called a "crisis of epic proportions" at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Driving the news: Pence toured the border area in Cochise County before traveling to Phoenix, where he addressed more than 100 people at the Arizona Commerce Authority.

  • "The policies that this administration have implemented are not a reflection of incompetence. The truth of the matter is the Democratic Party today is largely dominated by the radical left. And on their agenda is the goal of open borders, plain and simple," Pence told the crowd.
  • Pence blamed Biden for a record high 1.7 million apprehensions by Customs and Border Patrol agents of migrants who were attempting to illegally cross the border.

He also accused Biden of creating a crisis by reversing Trump's policies, calling on him to reinstate several policies that he said dramatically reduced illegal immigration:

  • Finish Trump's planned border wall and immediately deport people living here illegally who are criminals or gang members.
  • Bar the adoption of "sanctuary cities" nationwide.
  • Curb what Pence referred to as "asylum fraud" by reinstating Trump's "remain in Mexico" policy, which required asylum seekers to wait outside the U.S. while their asylum claims are pending.
  • Keep Title 42, which Trump enacted early in the COVID-19 pandemic to allow for the expedited expulsion of people caught entering the country illegally on public health grounds.

What he's saying: “We know it works because it worked. I was there, standing shoulder to shoulder with President Trump,” Pence said.

In addition, Pence called for the adoption of policies that the Trump administration considered but didn't implement.

  • Some of those include the "public charge rule," which would require all immigrants to demonstrate that they can provide for themselves and their families, and an end to "chain migration" — the practice of allowing immigrants to sponsor family members for visas — for anyone except immediate family members.

Pence praised Gov. Doug Ducey and members of the legislature for their commitment to using state resources for border security.

  • Ducey created the Arizona Border Strike Force in 2015, his first year as governor, and in April he helped inaugurate the American Governors' Border Strike Force with 25 other governors.
  • A proposed budget deal that Ducey reached with Republican legislative leaders this month includes $544 million for border security, $355 million of which would be used for fencing.
  • "But let's be very clear: Border security is not the responsibility of the state of Arizona. It's the responsibility of the United States of America," Pence said.
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