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Biden announces ‘border security’ measures five months ahead of election

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(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced what he dubbed a border security plan – five months ahead of the November election and after at least 11 million foreign nationals illegally entered the country since his inauguration.

At a news conference at the White House, Biden said, “I’ve come here to do what Republicans in Congress have failed to do, take the necessary steps to secure our border. … Today, I’m moving past Republican obstruction and using executive authorities available to me as president to do what I can on my own to address the border.”

The president said that foreign nationals illegally entering the country between ports of entry would be barred from receiving asylum.

“Migrants will be restricted from receiving asylum unless they seek it through an established lawful process, making an appointment through a port of entry,” he said, referring to the CBP One app, which several federal judges have ruled is illegal. Multiple state attorneys general have sued to block usage of the app, referring to it as an “illegal visa” program.

Biden was joined by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has not implemented border security measures nor worked with neighboring Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. The increase in illegal entries being apprehended by Border Patrol and by Abbott’s Operation Lone Star officers in west Texas are coming from New Mexico, The Center Square has reported.

The president said his executive action would “help us gain control of our border,” after at least 11 million foreign nationals illegally crossed, the greatest number in U.S. history. Over the past three years, Biden has repeatedly said there was “no border crisis.” His “border czar,” Vice President Kamala Harris, who did not attend the announcement, also has claimed the border is secure.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also has said his agency had operational control over the border and the border is secure, claims disproven by DHS data and for which he was impeached.

Biden said executive action was needed now after he told reporters in January, “I’ve done all I can do, just give me the power.” He said he was taking executive action after Congress failed to pass a Senate border bill, claiming Republicans refused to pass it because former President Donald Trump “told them to … in a political move.”

The Senate bill would codify existing Biden administration policies and does the opposite of what proponents claim, The Center Square reported. The bill also failed to move forward in the Democratic-controlled Senate. The Republican-controlled House has also repeatedly passed border security bills, which the Senate has refused to consider.

Biden’s proclamation implements restrictions only when “high levels of encounters at the Southern Border exceed our ability to deliver timely consequences.”

His action also applies only to the southwest border, not the northern border, which is experiencing record illegal entries and the greatest number of known or suspected terrorists being apprehended there in the country, The Center Square reported.

His action amends the Immigration and Nationality Act sections 212(f) and 215(a) by “suspending entry of noncitizens who cross the Southern border into the United States unlawfully.” It is accompanied by an interim final rule issued by the Department of Justice and DHS that restricts asylum that will only “be in effect when the Southern border is overwhelmed.”

The actions don’t stop illegal entry and “are not permanent. They will be discontinued when the number of migrants who cross the border between ports of entry is low enough for America’s system to safely and effectively manage border operations.”

Abbott has sent multiple letters to the president and called on him to secure the border by taking executive action, including reinstating the Remain in Mexico policy, continuing to build the border wall, and other policies he halted on his first day in office.

“Today’s announcement is nothing but a smokescreen for President Biden’s failed open border policies,” Gov. Abbott said. “This executive order will do nothing but further an invasion into our country, inviting thousands of unvetted illegal immigrants to cross the border every single day – the exact opposite of shutting down the border.

“Since his first day in office, President Biden dismantled all of his predecessor’s successful border policies, encouraging millions of illegal immigrants – including dangerous criminals and terrorists – into our country. For three years, the President has lied about the existence of the border crisis, deflected blame to Congress, and now contradicts himself by issuing a feckless executive order​ months before Election Day.”

Biden could have implemented border security measures years ago or not halted preexisting policies that created the border crisis to begin with, Abbott argues. Biden’s proposal will “do nothing to slow the record-breaking” illegal entries but instead “sidesteps actually enforcing the laws already enacted by Congress.”

If Biden were serious about securing the border, he would drop the lawsuits his administration filed against Texas, Abbott has argued. Instead, he and his administration at every turn have fought Texas’ border security measures, Abbott says. “President Biden attacks Texas for simply doing what Congress compelled him to do,” including building a border wall, installing hundreds of miles of razor wire and buoy barriers, and deploying thousands of troops and law enforcement officers to the border.

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