PRESIDENT BIDEN (AP) — He said Sunday he would not only build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border but also make it more difficult to cross it, in a reversal of his earlier rhetoric about securing the border.
“You want to build a fence?
I want a wall,” Biden said during a campaign stop in New Hampshire.
“And I want you to come to New Hampshire and you go and vote for me, because we are going to have a wall.”
The remarks were in contrast to his recent comments about making the border “secure” by closing it off.
The Vice President made the remarks in the first of three stops of his two-day swing through the Rust Belt.
He was speaking to reporters on Sunday as he headed to the final day of his three-day trip to the battleground state of Ohio.
Biden said that he wants to “build a fence” and make it “more difficult” to cross the border, but he also said the country “cannot afford” to lose its “border patrol” to sanctuary cities.
He said he is “ready to move on” from the president’s immigration agenda, but said he wants the border wall to be “more durable” and “secure.”
He said it will be “very important” to work with Democrats to come up with a “firm” solution.
“The president needs to be held accountable for not keeping the promise of a border wall, and he needs to make that promise to his constituents,” Biden told reporters in a town hall event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The vice president said he believes that border barriers are a “common sense” way to secure the border and added that he supports a “pro-active” approach.
“I am committed to making sure that border enforcement is stronger and more effective than ever before,” Biden added.
Trump has been promising to build “a wall” along the southern border since March and has promised to have Mexico pay for it.
The President has proposed building a wall at the border of New Mexico and Arizona, which both border Mexico.
But his plans for the wall are being met with resistance by Democrats, who have criticized the plan as a “border wall in a bottle.”
Biden on Sunday reiterated that position, saying that the wall should be built “properly.”
He also said he would like to see the border fence “built as long as it’s secure.”
He did not elaborate on how he would achieve that.
The president, who has previously suggested that he would rather build a border fence around the U, rather than around Mexico, was asked whether he believed Mexico would pay for the border barrier.
Biden, who said he “wouldn’t do” that, did not rule it out, but the President has not said if he would do so.
Biden also defended the idea of closing the border to immigrants from certain countries, saying the country needs to protect its borders and the people who live there.
He also did not mention that Trump’s immigration policies have sparked protests around the country.
Biden’s comments come as the White House is facing a backlash from Republicans and conservative groups over a series of comments by Trump, who called for the death penalty for undocumented immigrants who commit crimes and has suggested that the U can’t afford to pay for a wall.
Trump also has faced criticism from Democrats over his immigration policy and a recent statement by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., that called for “comprehensive immigration reform.”
Biden said he was speaking “as a leader who has a lot of compassion” and called Sessions “one of the most important leaders in our country.”