Biden confronts new immigration disconnect: The Note

RICK KLEIN, AVERI HARPER and ALISA WIERSEMA
·6 min read

The TAKE with Rick Klein

The recent history of immigration policy has been defined by disconnects -- House-passed bills that can't pass the Senate and vice versa, abrupt changes that come with new administrations and seemingly easy solutions that get stymied by more complex and controversial issues.

Now comes a disconnect unique to President Joe Biden, as he confronts a wave of migrants arriving at the U.S. border with Mexico in numbers that far surpass last year's.

Biden is urging patience as his administration develops new procedures and sets up adequate facilities -- meaning the message to would-be asylum-seekers is not "Don't try to come," but rather, "Don't try yet."

"I can say quite clearly, 'Don't come over in the process of getting set up,'" the president told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, in an interview airing on "Good Morning America" Wednesday. "Don't leave your town or state or community."

PHOTO: Migrants walk to a gate in the border wall after crossing the Rio Bravo river to turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents to request for asylum in El Paso, Texas, U.S., as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, March 14, 2021.  (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)
PHOTO: Migrants walk to a gate in the border wall after crossing the Rio Bravo river to turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents to request for asylum in El Paso, Texas, U.S., as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, March 14, 2021. (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)

Biden brushed off the notion that more migrants are coming now "because they know I'm a nice guy." Yet the change of administrations -- from one that drastically limited asylum opportunities and cracked down on attempted border crossings, to one far more welcoming to immigrants generally -- is an undeniable factor in the current surge.

Republicans are placing all blame for the current crisis on Biden, notwithstanding their relative silence when his predecessor enacted policies that separated children from their families at the border.

Regardless, the crisis belongs to Biden now, and he is vowing to have enough bed capacity to care for unaccompanied minors by the end of March. The relatively simple act of decrying Trump-era policies is meeting the maddeningly complex world of immigration implementation.

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

President Joe Biden has long held deep respect for the legislative filibuster and has been staunchly opposed to doing away with it, but in an exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, he signaled openness to reform for the first time.

Biden said he wants a return of the talking filibuster, which would require a filibustering senator to stay on the floor to make their case. "I don't think you have to eliminate the filibuster," said Biden. "You just have to do it like the old days. You gotta work for that filibuster."

The change in tone comes a day after Sen. Dick Durbin, the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, called the current use of filibusters "legislative rock bottom." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also warned of a "scorched earth Senate" in which Republicans would further obstruct the work of the legislative body if Democrats got rid of the filibuster.

PHOTO: President Joe Biden salutes as he arrives on Marine One at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Del., March 16, 2021, en route to Wilmington, Del.  (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
PHOTO: President Joe Biden salutes as he arrives on Marine One at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Del., March 16, 2021, en route to Wilmington, Del. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

This marked change from Biden may represent a realization that the filibuster in its current form is a threat to much of what he hopes to accomplish.

For those on the left, addressing the issue of the filibuster is urgent, as the Senate gears up to consider sweeping voting reforms outlined in H.R. 1, widely seen as an effort to counter state-level Republican moves to roll back access to the ballot box.

Biden’s softened stance on the filibuster is likely to be received as a move in the right direction by liberal groups that have pressured lawmakers to end the parliamentary procedure.

The TIP with Alisa Wiersema

This week, as California Gov. Gavin Newsom defended himself against those calling for his recall, he also explained his comments about the future of the state's senior senator, Dianne Feinstein.

Talking to MSNBC on Monday, Newsom said he would appoint a Black woman to replace Feinstein if she were to retire.

PHOTO: In this Feb. 16, 2021, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference on the campus of the California State University of Los Angeles in Los Angeles.  (Jae C. Hong/AP, FILE)
PHOTO: In this Feb. 16, 2021, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference on the campus of the California State University of Los Angeles in Los Angeles. (Jae C. Hong/AP, FILE)

During an appearance on ABC's "The View" Tuesday, Newsom said he didn't mean to imply the 87-year-old senator is retiring. "Quite the contrary. She's one of my oldest, closest friends and allies, and I say that literally, not figuratively," Newsom said, adding that he had just responded "honestly, and forthrightly" to a hypothetical question when discussing a replacement appointment.

Meanwhile, Feinstein -- whom Newsom insisted is "lucid and focused" -- told reporters Tuesday that she's not retiring and intends to serve until 2024, when her term ends. "I don't know about his plans, but his relationship with me I think is good and strong. I mean you're making a mountain out of a molehill," the senator said.

Newsom's initial remarks may have been misinterpreted by some, but they also served as a reminder of what could happen if he is, in fact, recalled. Without him leading the state, California Democrats may have to deal with Republicans making critical appointment decisions.

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Wednesday morning's episode features ABC News Chief Business & Economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, who explains how President Biden's stimulus package could help small businesses recover. Dr. John Brownstein breaks down Moderna's vaccine trials for kids and why vaccinating children is so important. And ABC News' Alex Stone tells us about an effort to recall California governor Gavin Newsom. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

ABC News' "Powerhouse Politics" podcast. https://bit.ly/3oMKdUP ABC News senior White House correspondent Mary Bruce joins ABC News political director Rick Klein and Chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl to discuss the latest news from the White House.

FiveThirtyEight's Politics Podcast. In this episode of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew discusses whether President Biden's approval rating will be boosted by the American Rescue Plan and how popular he will have to be to avoid a backlash at the midterms. https://53eig.ht/2M0rQx6

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

ABC's "Good Morning America" anchor George Stephanopoulos go one-on-one with President Joe Biden as he hits the road to promote his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan. ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl appears on ABC's "The View." The House Financial Services Committee will hold a virtual hearing entitled, "Game Stopped? Who Wins and Loses When Short Sellers, Social Media, and Retail Investors Collide" at 10 a.m. The House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the Department of Homeland Security's management challenges at 10 a.m. Senate Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hear from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, Food and Drug Administration's Director of Biologics Evaluation and Research Dr. Peter Marks and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in a hearing on the Biden administration's actions to increase COVID-19 vaccination at 10 a.m. The Senate Finance Committee will hold a virtual hearing on COVID-19 in nursing homes at 10 a.m. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on The Equality Act, at 10 a.m. The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing on income and wealth inequality at 11 a.m. The Senate Small Business Committee will hold a hearing entitled, "The Paycheck Protection Program: Performance, Impact, and Next Steps" at 2:30 p.m.

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The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.

Biden confronts new immigration disconnect: The Note originally appeared on abcnews.go.com