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Biden may flex authority, use executive order to close southern border

May 29

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President Joe Biden is reportedly considering an executive order to temporarily shut down the southern border, according to a report from PBS on Tuesday, May 28. The action would be similar to a provision in the bipartisan immigration bill, which failed to pass in February 2024.

The proposed bill would have allowed the president to close the border once illegal crossings surpassed 4,000 migrants a day for a week. In addition, the bill would have begun automatic deportations once the daily average of border crossing surpassed 5,000 migrants. The executive order by President Biden could reportedly come as soon as June 2, one day after the Mexican elections.

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Just five months from the U.S. presidential election, Biden is under pressure from both sides of the aisle to get the ongoing border crisis under control. Moderate Democrats, some of whom are in tight races for reelection, want Biden to take action on immigration. Across the aisle, Republicans campaigned on the national security risk posed by what they see as untamed immigration and lax border enforcement.

However, border encounters dropped significantly over the past several months. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports that border encounters in December stood at 301,980. In April, those numbers dropped to 179,725 encounters, according to CBP. Still, that is an average of around 5,990 encounters per day in April.

Election watchers warned Biden’s executive action could also alienate Latino voters who are crucial to his reelection bid. Some Hispanic voters said that they worry the order may set a new precedent for those seeking asylum in the United States, potentially making the process more restrictive.

Hispanic Caucus leadership met with President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris last week. Members raised concerns about Biden’s outreach to Latino voters. They urged the administration to consider other actions, like expanding work permits for immigrants already in the United States.

Meanwhile, Biden shifted to harder stance on immigration since polling has shown him facing a tough battle for reelection and illegal immigration ranking as top concern for U.S. voters.

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[LAUREN TAYLOR]

PRESIDENT BIDEN IS CONSIDERING AN EXECUTIVE ORDER TO TEMPORARILY SHUT DOWN THE SOUTHERN BORDER.

THE ACTION WOULD MIRROR A PROVISION IN THE FAILED BIPARTISAN IMMIGRATION BILL THAT WOULD’VE ALLOWED THE PRESIDENT TO CLOSE THE BORDER ONCE ILLEGAL CROSSINGS HIT A DAILY AVERAGE OF FOUR THOUSAND FOR A WEEK.

THE BORDER WOULD BE REOPENED ONCE MIGRANT ENCOUNTERS FALL.

THE ORDER COULD COME AS SOON AS JUNE 2ND– A DAY AFTER THE MEXICAN ELECTIONS.

JUST FIVE MONTHS FROM THE U-S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, BIDEN IS UNDER PRESSURE FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE TO GET THE ONGOING BORDER CRISIS UNDER CONTROL.

MODERATE DEMOCRATS, SOME OF WHOM, ARE IN TIGHT RACES– WANT HIM TO TAKE ACTION ON IMMIGRATION.

WHILE REPUBLICANS CAMPAIGN ON THE NATIONAL SECURITY RISK POSED BY WHAT THEY SEE AS UNTAMED IMMIGRATION AND LAX BORDER ENFORCEMENT.

BORDER ENCOUNTERS HAVE DROPPED SIGNIFICANTLY OVER THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS.

IN DECEMBER, MORE THAN 300-THOUSAND ENCOUNTERS WERE REPORTED BY BORDER PATROL. 

IN APRIL, MORE THAN 179-THOUSAND ENCOUNTERS WERE DOCUMENTED. THAT’S STILL AN AVERAGE OF AROUND 6,000 DAILY MIGRANT ENCOUNTERS.

ELECTION WATCHERS WARN BIDEN’S EXECUTIVE ACTION COULD ALSO ALIENATE LATINO VOTERS, CRUCIAL TO HIS REELECTION BID.

SOME HISPANIC VOTERS SAID THEY WORRY THE ORDER MAY SET A NEW PRECEDENT FOR THOSE SEEKING ASYLUM.

POTENTIALLY MAKING THE PROCESS MORE RESTRICTIVE.

HISPANIC CAUCUS LEADERSHIP MET WITH BIDEN AND VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS LAST WEEK– RAISING CONCERNS ABOUT BIDEN’S OUTREACH TO LATINO VOTERS.

THEY URGED THE ADMINISTRATION TO CONSIDER OTHER ACTIONS.

LIKE EXPANDING WORK PERMITS FOR IMMIGRANTS ALREADY IN THE U-S.

BIDEN HAS SHIFTED TO A HARDER STANCE ON IMMIGRATION SINCE POLLING HAS SHOWN HIM FACING A TOUGH BATTLE FOR REELECTION AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION RANKING AS A TOP CONCERN FOR VOTERS.

FOR MORE STORIES ON THE SITUATION AT THE SOUTHERN BORDER–

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