State of the Union: Biden swipes at Trump and defends abortion rights in key speech


As most observers expected, Biden has also harshly criticised lawmakers for failing to pass a bipartisan border bill, which faltered amid fierce opposition from House Republicans.

The legislation would have seen 1,500 border security agents hired, as well as 100 more immigration judges to help tackle a backlog of cases in the immigration system.

“The bill would save lives,” he said. “And bring order to the border.”

Biden noted that the bill would give him the ability to “temporarily shut down” the border when the number of migrants is “overwhelming”.

He laid the blame for the failure on Donald Trump.

“I’m told my predecessor called members of congress in the senate and demanded they block the bill,” he said. “He feels it would be a political win for me and a political loser for him.”

“It’s not about him,” he said. “It’s not about me.”

As he spoke, Biden also dealt with hecklers from the Republican side of the chamber – a sign of how politically contentious the issue is.

Notably, he’s responded to calls from Marjorie Taylor Green to mention Laken Riley, a Georgia woman murdered by an undocumented migrant.

In total, about 6.3m migrants have been detained crossing the border during the Biden administration, a higher number than under previous presidencies. Last year alone, 2.5m undocumented migrants crossed the border.

Copyright: Getty Images

Image caption: The Georgia Republican was seen shouting at Biden as he spoke about immigration

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