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President Joe Biden talks with the U.S. Border Patrol and local officials, as he looks over the southern border, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, in Brownsville along the Rio Grande. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

Speaking at the Brownsville Border Patrol Station in Olmito on Thursday, President Joe Biden argued forcefully for the U.S. Senate to reconsider a bipartisan border security and immigration bill that collapsed in the Senate earlier this month.

He was accompanied by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-Brownsville, both of whom also delivered remarks during the press event, along with Brownsville Mayor John Cowen Jr.

Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño was present along with McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos, Edinburg Mayor Ramiro Garza and Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez.

After receiving briefings from Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement leadership about dire shortages of resources and personnel, and after praising the men and women who risk their lives daily to secure the border and stop illegal contraband, Biden said it was long past time to pass the legislation, which he described as the “toughest set of border security reforms we’ve ever seen in this country.”

The compromise bill would pay for 1,500 additional border security officers, 100 more asylum judges and thousands more asylum officers to cut through the 2 million-case backlog of asylum claims, he said.

“Today the process to get a decision on an asylum claim takes five to seven years,” Biden said. “It’s far too long.”

At the same time, the bill would toughen the standards for granting asylum, he said, adding that Border Patrol, ICE and others in charge of patrolling and securing the border do “incredible work under tough conditions” but “desperately need more resources.”

“They need more agents, more officers, more judges, more equipment, in order to secure our border,” Biden said. “Folks, it’s time for us to move on this. We can’t wait any longer.”

President Joe Biden delivers remarks during a visit to the southern border, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, in Brownsville. With the President from left are, Brownsville Mayor John Cowen, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

The bipartisan border bill that the speaker of the House refused to bring to a floor vote after it was criticized by former president Donald Trump, who appeared on the border in Eagle Pass Thursday, would also provide an additional $424 million for detection machines to help stem the flow of fentanyl into the United States from Mexico, Biden said, adding, “we can save lives in the process.”

The bill would also give presidents emergency authority to temporarily shut down the border when the number of migrants attempting to cross exceeds Border Patrol’s ability to process them, he said. Biden said his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, meanwhile, will provide nearly $4 billion for ports of entry such as Brownsville’s, boosting security and easing waiting times.

“Folks, the bipartisan border security deal is a win for the American people and it’s a win for the people of Texas, and it’s fair for those who legitimately have a right to come here to begin with,” he said. “It’s a win for the people of Brownsville, and I believe that’s why the Border Patrol Union endorsed it.

“I believe that’s why the National Chamber of Commerce endorsed it. … That’s why the Wall Street Journal endorsed it as well. That’s why the bipartisan South Texas Alliance of Cities endorsed it.”

President Joe Biden gives a thumbs up as he boards Air Force One at Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport after visiting the southern border, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, in Brownsville. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

Biden said the bill was on its way to passage in the Senate before it was “derailed by rank partisan politics.”

“The U.S. Senate needs to reconsider this bill, and those senators who opposed it need to set politics aside and pass it on its merits, not whether it’s going to benefit one party or benefit the other party. The speaker of the House needs to put this bill on the floor, because if he put it on the floor unrestricted it would pass.

“The majority of Democrats and Republicans in both houses support this legislation, until someone came along and said don’t do that, it’ll benefit the incumbent. That’s a hell of a way to do business in America for such as serious problem.”

Check out these slideshows highlighting Biden’s visit: