Joe Biden Implements Tough Border Policy Amid Political Pressure

Biden's Bold Move on Immigration: Shutting Down Illegal Asylum Claims

by Faruk Imamovic
Joe Biden Implements Tough Border Policy Amid Political Pressure
© Getty Images/Kevin Dietsch

In a decisive effort to tackle one of his administration's most pressing challenges, President Joe Biden has invoked executive authority to curtail access to asylum for migrants crossing the US-Mexico border illegally. This sweeping action, announced at the White House, underscores Biden's determination to address immigration head-on, particularly as he gears up for the first presidential debate.

Biden's executive order, set to take effect at midnight, represents a significant shift in the administration's approach to border management. By using the same legal authority previously attempted by former President Donald Trump, Biden aims to demonstrate a firm stance on immigration, a topic that has long been a political vulnerability for his administration.

The Executive Action: Key Details

In his address, Biden criticized Congressional Republicans for blocking a bipartisan border deal, stating that their obstruction left him no choice but to take unilateral action. “I’m moving past Republican obstruction and using the executive authorities available to me as president to do what I can on my own to address the border,” Biden declared from the White House's East Room. Under the new policy, migrants who cross the border illegally will be barred from seeking asylum once a daily threshold is reached.

Those who do not meet specific exemptions will be turned back to Mexico or their countries of origin. Exceptions include unaccompanied children, victims of severe trafficking, individuals with acute medical emergencies, or those facing imminent and extreme threats to life and safety.

Additionally, migrants can still request asylum appointments through the Customs and Border Protection mobile app, CBP One, to present their claims at official ports of entry. The Biden administration's latest move is seen as a response to the ongoing challenge of managing record migration levels across the Western Hemisphere.

Homeland Security officials report that nearly 3,500 migrants crossed the border illegally on Monday, surpassing the threshold for the new policy to take effect. Arrests have recently averaged just under 4,000 daily, a slight decrease from record highs last year.

Joe Biden Implements Tough Border Policy Amid Political Pressure© Getty Images/John Moore

The measure allows for flexibility, as senior administration officials indicated that the policy could be lifted if the daily average of illegal crossings falls below 1,500.

However, Biden emphasized his preference for a legislative solution. “Frankly, I would have preferred to address this issue through bipartisan legislation because that’s the only way to actually get the kind of system we have now that’s broken, fixed.

To hire more Border Patrol agents, more asylum officers, more judges. But Republicans have left me no choice,” Biden said.

Navigating Criticism and Upholding Values

Critics have likened Biden's new policy to measures taken under Trump, who faced significant backlash for his hardline immigration tactics.

However, the Biden administration has sought to distinguish its approach by incorporating humanitarian exceptions and avoiding discriminatory practices. “The Trump administration attacked almost every facet of the immigration system, and did so in a shameful and inhumane way,” an administration official remarked.

“The action will not ban people based on their religion, it will not separate kids from their mothers. There are also narrow humanitarian exceptions to the bar on asylum”. Biden addressed concerns from progressives and other critics, asserting that his actions are necessary to maintain order and uphold American values.

“For those who say the steps I’ve taken are too strict, I say to you that be patient and the good will of the American people is wearing thin right now. Doing nothing is not an option. We have to act. We must act consistent with both our law and our values.

Our values as Americans. I take these steps today, not to walk away from who we are as Americans, to make sure we preserve who we are for future generations to come,” Biden stated. He also made a point to differentiate his policies from those of his predecessor, reiterating his commitment to humane treatment of immigrants.

“I will never demonize immigrants, I will never refer to immigrants as poisoning the blood of a country. And further I’ll never separate children from their families at the border. I will not ban people from this country because of their religious beliefs.

I will not use the US military to go into neighborhoods all across the country to pull millions of people out of their homes and away from their families, to put detention camps while awaiting deportation, as my predecessor says he’ll do if he occupies this office again,” Biden affirmed.

Despite the controversy, Biden's administration insists that the measure will enable more efficient processing of migrants and reduce the strain on federal resources. Migrants who do not express a credible fear of returning to their home countries may be removed within days or hours, while those who do will undergo a screening process.

Homeland Security officials have been preparing for an expected increase in border crossings during the summer, reallocating resources and personnel to manage the potential surge. Senior administration officials have cited the new measure as a crucial tool to mitigate this anticipated rise.

The success of Biden's policy also hinges on cooperation from Mexico. Previously, Mexico agreed to accept up to 30,000 migrants per month from countries such as Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela as part of broader efforts to reduce illegal migration. However, officials did not confirm any new agreements with Mexico regarding the latest executive action.

Joe Biden