Vice President Joe Biden met with law enforcement officials and delivered a statement on immigration. Via the pool report:
Biden was seated at a long table with law enforcement officials seated all around. He spoke for about 10 minutes, and finished his remarks at 1:02 p.m.
His primary message, which he repeated several times, was that immigration reform is “a public safety issue writ large.”
From every perspective, immigration reform is a public safety bill that extends beyond just border security, Biden said. Immigration reform will make communities safer and make law enforcement officials’ jobs easier, he said.
The bill will require all undocumented immigrants to come forward and register; submit to fingerprinting; pass criminal background checks; and a national security check, Biden said. Then pay fees and taxes on earnings before getting on the path to citizenship, which could take a decade, he said.
Biden said the law enforcement officials raised concerns about domestic abuse taking place that never gets reported, and agricultural workers afraid to put their money in banks who are robbed and are afraid to report it.
“Fixing the broken immigration system is going to allow—allow law enforcement to focus on catching criminals and keeping neighborhoods safe,” Biden said.
Biden said he did not know how many more chances they had to get this right. “The House has to step up to the ball and address this issue. Stand up, every member, yea or nay. They should be able to vote individually, that’s a decision for the House to make. But we’re convinced, we’re convinced that this goes to the people, this goes to the Congress, if people are able to vote this passes, this passes,” he said.
At the end, a reporter asked about Detroit bankruptcy—Biden said he did not know what the response would be. “Can we help Detroit?” Biden said. The administration is just now going through exactly in detail what it means, just getting a brief on the status. “The question is, we don’t know,” he said.