‘A Major Course Correction’: Dem Strategist Says ‘Elites Are Out Of Touch’ On Border

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A former top lawyer for House Judiciary Committee Democrats said Monday that his party’s “elites” were “out of touch” on the border and that President Joe Biden needed to make “a major course correction” ahead of November.

Illegal immigration has become a major issue in the 2024 presidential campaign, and Biden is facing mounting criticism over his handling of the border as he trails Trump by 1.8% in a head-to-head matchup, according to the RealClearPolling average. Julian Epstein, former chief counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, warned Democrats were ignoring “a strong majority” of Americans on the border issue. (RELATED: Trump Says He Spoke To Laken Riley’s Parents, Bashes Biden For Not ‘Saying Her Name’)

“I think that Democratic elites are out of touch with the public on the question of immigration,” Epstein told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. “Americans are for legal immigration, Americans are very much against illegal immigration. If you look at the polling on this, New York Times and Pew and you’re just going down the line with multiple polls, 70 to 80% of the American public disapprove of Biden’s immigration policies, what has effectively been open borders.”

Only 30.6% of voters approve of Biden’s handling of immigration, according to the RealClearPolling average of polls from Feb. 8 to March 5. While Republicans have sought more border security, some Democrats have demanded that Biden act against Texas over Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s efforts to stop illegal border crossing, including calling for Biden to seize control of the National Guard.


“Just look at the Democratic strongholds in cities across the country, they’re going through meltdowns experiencing just a small thimbleful of what the border states have had to experience,” Epstein continued. “I think Biden’s strategy on has been to blame the Republicans, blame Trump and then come out, as he probably will this week or next week, with half-steps, with executive orders on immigration, and that dog just won’t hunt.”

Biden expressed regret for calling the alleged killer of 22-year-old Laken Riley an “illegal” when he addressed the incident in Thursday’s State of the Union address after being confronted by Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. Riley’s alleged killer, Jose Antonio Ibarra, an immigrant from Venezuela who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, was arrested by University of Georgia police and charged with murdering the 22-year-old nursing student Feb. 23.

The Senate failed to invoke cloture on a motion to begin debate on legislation combining foreign aid and border security negotiated by Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona by a vote of 50-49 on Feb. 7. Biden blamed Republicans for not passing the deal during a Feb. 29 speech at Brownsville, Texas, even though he reversed multiple policies initiated by his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, during his first days in office.

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered 2,045,838 illegal immigrants in fiscal year 2023, following 2,206,436 encounters in fiscal year 2022 and 1,659,206 in fiscal year 2021, according to federal data. (RELATED: Dem Rep Says ‘One Instance’ Of Murder ‘Shouldn’t Shape’ US Immigration Policy After Nursing Student Killed)

“President Biden has the authority today to close the borders,” Epstein said. “It’s what the very strong majorities of the American people want and he can do it with a stroke of a pen. He should do it.”

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