Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said Sunday that he fears President Biden could become the "asylum denier-in-chief" if he restarts a policy detaining families that illegally cross into the U.S.
The big picture: Menendez's remarks come after reports this week that Biden was considering reinstating the controversial policy, setting off criticism from some Democrats and immigration activists.
- The possibility of restarting family detention has been discussed in recent high-level meetings, sources familiar with the conversations told Axios' Stef Kight.
- "If the administration does go down this path, I am afraid that the president will become the asylum denier-in-chief," Menendez said on NBC News' Meet the Press.
- Biden halted the policy in 2021, which Menendez said was "the best part of the administration's immigration policy over the first two years."
What he's saying: "What we need is a comprehensive plan to deal with the border and what are the elements, the push and pull factors, that bring people to this country," Menendez said.
- "We need to find legal pathways so that people don't surge to the border because they are fleeing," he continued.
- "We need to work with Central America and the Mexican government to also be part of the solution," he said.
Go deeper… Biden's immigration moves could put huge population in limbo
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