Biden Under Fire for New Immigration Policy

( – President Joe Biden has revealed a long-anticipated executive action on the border crisis as the 2024 presidential race heats up.

The measure will attempt to tackle the record numbers of border crossings following failed legislative efforts and significantly cap the number of migrants granted asylum at the southern U.S. border. The president announced on June 6 plans to bypass “Republican obstruction” and use the executive powers available to him as president to strengthen border control.

Biden said former President Donald Trump and the GOP left him with no choice other than to use the executive action. The president has repeatedly blamed the Republicans for impeding efforts to effectively control the border. Following the announcement of executive measures, he said he would have preferred a bipartisan approach to addressing the border crisis, and said the executive action is the only way of fixing a “broken” system.

Under the new action, those attempting to cross the southern border illegally will be turned away when the weekly average of daily border crossings between ports of entry rises above 2,500. The measure entered effect immediately due to the average having already exceeded that threshold. According to polls, immigration is a leading concern for voters as the country approaches the November presidential election. Polls have suggested that voters trust Trump more than Biden to deal with the border crisis.

Biden and the Democrats have blamed the Republicans for sabotaging efforts to clamp down on immigration for political purposes, and Biden’s executive action comes after the GOP rejected a bipartisan bill on border security for the second time in May. In February Biden accused Trump of weaponizing the border crisis in the year of the election, arguing that supporting a bipartisan bill to address immigration would hurt Trump politically.

Trump dismissed Biden’s executive action as “weak”, suggesting it was “all about show” approaching the one-on-one debate on June 27. Republican Texas Senator John Cornyn argued that the announcement was just “political cover” primarily motivated by Biden’s poor performance in polls.

The unveiled measures did little to convince progressive Democrats, who criticized Biden for adopting policies akin to those of the Trump administration. The American Civil Liberties Union said it would challenge the executive action in court. Democratic Illinois Representative Delia Ramirez said the effort to respond to Republicans would fall flat with them regardless, arguing that the GOP had already made the border crisis a central focal point of the presidential campaign.

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