President Biden is contemplating taking executive action on the border, considering powers previously utilized by Trump.

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Written By Vikas Jangid

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Biden Considers Executive Action on Border Issue amid Congressional Gridlock

In response to congressional Republicans' recent obstruction of border legislation supported by the White House, President Joe Biden is contemplating new executive measures to tackle the surge in migration at the southern border.

According to an anonymous Biden administration official, no definitive decisions have been made regarding potential additional executive actions.

                                        Source: Youtube/CBS Morning

Exploring Measures from Federal Immigration Law: The Biden administration is exploring provisions of federal immigration law commonly used by former President Donald Trump, as reported by the Associated Press. This move may face criticism from progressives and immigration advocates.

Specifically, Biden is considering potential measures under Section 212(f) of the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act. This provision grants the president authority to restrict immigration for individuals deemed "detrimental to the interests of the United States."

Comparison to Trump's Policies: Former President Trump utilized the same provision to enact a ban on individuals from majority-Muslim nations. However, Biden moved to reverse Trump's ban on his first day in office.

Proposed Executive Order: According to The New York Times, Biden's proposed executive order would restrict migrants' ability to seek asylum in the U.S. if they enter the country illegally. This aligns with the objectives of a bipartisan border bill that was blocked by congressional Republicans.

Immigration Plays a Central Role in Biden’s Re-election Campaign

The legislation, which was defeated in the Senate, aimed to grant the Department of Homeland Security the authority to close the border to migrants crossing illegally if daily crossings exceeded an average of 4,000 in any one-week period.

Additionally, if migrant border encounters surpassed an average of 5,000 a day — a threshold that has already been reached — DHS would have been mandated to shut down the border to unauthorized migrants seeking to cross between ports of entry.

Following the failure of the border bill, Biden has criticized Republicans for their inaction on immigration, attempting to transform it from a defensive issue typically associated with Democrats into a victory for his reelection campaign.

Angelo Fernández Hernández, assistant White House press secretary, stated, "No executive action, regardless of its aggressiveness, can achieve the significant policy reforms and additional resources that Congress can provide, and which Republicans rejected."

He continued, "We continue to urge Speaker Johnson and House Republicans to pass the bipartisan deal to secure the border."

Border patrol encounters on the rise

In December, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported over 250,000 encounters with migrants crossing from Mexico into the U.S., marking the highest monthly total on record.

This figure surpassed the previous peak of around 224,000 encounters in May 2022, according to analysis by the Pew Research Center.

However, the number of individuals crossing illegally into the U.S. from Mexico decreased by 50 percent in January, according to CBP data.

The issue has caused division in Congress and is becoming a significant concern for voters in the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

A recent Pew poll found that 8 in 10 U.S. adults believe the government is doing a very or somewhat poor job handling the large influx of migrants seeking entry at the U.S.-Mexico border. Nearly as many view the situation as either a "crisis" (45%) or a "major problem" (32%) for the U.S.

Partisan differences exist in how Americans perceive the reasons for migrants coming to the border, according to Pew. Approximately 76% of Republicans consider the perception that U.S. immigration policies facilitate easy stay in the country upon arrival as a major factor.

In contrast, only about 39% of Democrats share this view.

Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are 30 percentage points more likely than Republicans and Republican-leaning independents to identify violence in migrants' home countries as a major reason for migration to the U.S. (79% vs. 49%).

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