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Arizona politicians, stakeholders react to Biden’s border order

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(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden’s proclamation limiting the number of asylum seekers each day at the southern border sparked a range of reactions from politicians and groups in Arizona.

Biden said the United States will not allow people to claim asylum if the average daily number of those seeking asylum passes 2,500 average in a week, according to the White House. According to the Department of Homeland Security, some exceptions include those with “exceptionally compelling circumstances” such as a “victim of a severe form of trafficking,” those facing extreme medical or safety threats and “unaccompanied children.” DHS also says that those who use the CBP One app will also be considered exempt from the limit.

There have been several million migrant encounters at the southern border since Biden took office, which many Republicans have attributed to his decision to halt construction of the border wall and other policies that President Donald Trump touted.

“This proclamation answers the call by suspending entry of noncitizens across the southern border during this time of high border crossings. Appropriate exceptions are provided, such as for those who are particularly vulnerable or present pursuant to a process the Secretary of Homeland Security determines is appropriate to allow for safe and orderly processing into the United States.

“President Biden’s plan is a welcome action that will help address urgent needs at the border. In Arizona, where Border Patrol agents and nonprofits are often overwhelmed by daily migrant crossings, this new effort will support their crucial work and help relieve border communities from the burden of our broken immigration system,” Sen. Mark Kelly said in a statement. However, Kelly placed the blame on Republicans for the border security bill that failed in the Senate twice.

“But make no mistake—this is only necessary because Congress has failed to do its duty to help fix the border and there is no substitute for that. The Senate has twice had the opportunity to take up an agreement negotiated by Republicans and Democrats to invest in more Border Patrol agents, technology and personnel to stop fentanyl, officers to quickly screen asylum claims, and other lasting solutions, but both times my Republican colleagues walked away,” he added.

Others, such as the Phoenix-based Border Security Alliance welcomed the order, but noted that the move comes months before the presidential election.

“While the Border Security Alliance is pleased some action is finally being taken regarding the crisis along the Southern Border, border security isn’t just important during the months leading up to a competitive election. A true leader would bring Congress together to pass meaningful immigration reform and border security. It’s what the American people want and need,” President Jobe Dickinson said in a statement.

Meanwhile, some Republicans in the state said that the action does not go far enough. U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake’s campaign used the opportunity to take a jab at her opponent, Congressman Ruben Gallego.

“This latest move is just another in a series of purely political moves made by radicals like Biden and Gallego in their attempt to salvage their chances this November,” her campaign stated. “But Arizonans won’t so easily forget the three years that Biden and Gallego spent refusing to secure our border as millions of illegal aliens came into our country unvetted, drugs poured into our communities, and crime skyrocketed.”

The move from the federal level comes as Arizona voters will now get to contemplate whether the state and local government could take action. Republicans in the Arizona House referred House Concurrent Resolution to the ballot on Tuesday, The Center Square reported.

HCR 2060, also known as the “Secure the Border Act,” would most notably make it a state crime to cross into Arizona illegally, along with other provisions related to fentanyl and e-verify.

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