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Texas governor, GOP blast Biden’s latest immigration plan

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(The Center Square) – Six months ahead of the November election, President Joe Biden is reportedly planning on proposing an “aggressive new immigration strategy” after more than at least 11 million foreign nationals have illegally entered the country during his tenure.

Democrats are preparing to launch an “aggressive new immigration strategy” ahead of the election, NBC News reported. Biden administration officials met with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and others to discuss ways to “force votes that Republicans would be likely to oppose,” on immigration and border security, according to the report.

The president is also “considering invoking a sweeping presidential authority to enact a broader restriction on asylum ahead of the election in November,” CBS News reported.

The strategy includes proposing a new asylum rule that claims to bar asylum seekers within days of illegal entry. It only applies to those who appear to be a “national security or public safety threat,” which is already federal law, according to reports.

U.S. Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., who chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, blasted the proposed asylum rule saying it “appears to be an unserious, politically motivated attempt to address a significant problem the Biden administration itself created. The proposed rule will only apply to illegal aliens who are believed to be either a national security or public safety threat. The rule will not impact or reduce the millions of illegitimate asylum claims being filed by economic migrants. The department currently cannot properly vet the vast majority of illegal aliens crossing the border, as numerous tragic reports from our communities make clear. The Biden administration, however, would have us believe that vetting under this rule will somehow be effective.”

The House committee noted that under the Biden administration, the asylum claim backlog exploded. Through the second quarter of fiscal 2021, pending asylum claims and those in the category of “withholding of removal” totaled 398,928, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data. By the first quarter of fiscal 2024, the backlog rose to 1.11 million, according to the most recent data. The new proposed rule, if implemented, would not have any impact on the existing backlog.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security does not have the resources or staff to adequately vet the unprecedented number of illegal border crossers continuing to enter the U.S, Green argues. Likewise, other governments do not share information about citizens coming from their countries with DHS, making it difficult to determine if someone is a national security threat or not, officials tell to The Center Square.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also criticized the proposal, saying, “President Biden inherited the most secure border with the lowest illegal immigration since last century. With the stroke of a pen, he proudly ended those secure border policies and opened the border to more than 11 million illegal immigrants from more than 150 different countries – including known terrorists, murderers, and rapists. Now, desperately grasping to salvage his failed presidency, President Biden attempts the most minimal action possible, hoping to mask the crisis he created.”

Abbott said Biden could have implemented border security measures years ago or not halted existing policies in place under former President Donald Trump. He said whatever the proposal is will “do nothing to slow the record-breaking” illegal entries but instead “sidesteps actually enforcing the laws already enacted by Congress.”

Abbott also said the president and his administration at every turn have fought Texas’ border security measures, known as Operation Lone Star.

“President Biden attacks Texas for simply doing what Congress compelled him to do,” he said. “Texas is building a border wall, installing hundreds of miles of razor wire and buoy barriers, and deploying thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and Department of Public Safety troopers [to the border]. Our efforts have led to a substantial decline in illegal immigration into Texas while it remains on the rise in other border states. Operation Lone Star is working, and President Biden would do well to follow our lead, or get out of the way.”

Since Abbott launched OLS, Texas law enforcement officers have apprehended more than 509,000 illegal border crossers and made more than 42,300 criminal arrests, with more than 37,500 felony charges.

Under the Biden administration, record number of apprehensions of illegal border crossers were broken every year. In fiscal 2021, a record 1.9 million were apprehended, the highest number in U.S. history at the time. The number excluded those who evaded capture known as gotaways.

That record was broken in fiscal 2022, creating a new record of more than 2.7 million. This was again broken in fiscal 2023, surpassing 3.2 million, excluding gotaways.

In the first six months of fiscal 2024, a new record was broken of more than 1.7 million illegal border crossers, the greatest number for this time period in U.S. history, The Center Square reported.

Since fiscal 2021, a record 11 million foreign nationals reportedly illegally entered the U.S., including at least two million gotaways, The Center Square has reported. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-LA., said on Wednesday the total number was likely closer to 16 million.

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