Biden expected to sign border measure on Tuesday to curb asylum

Politics Biden 041224 AP Alex Brandon

President Biden is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday that would give the White House additional authority to limit the flow of migrants across the southern border, sources confirmed to The Hill.

The order would allow border officials to turn away migrants at the southern border once crossings surpass a certain number, an official said.

The Associated Press reported the order would shut down the border after 2,500 daily encounters, and the border would reopen once the number of encounters drops below 1,500.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The order is likely to face legal challenges once it’s rolled out, along with backlash from progressive Democrats who railed against the Trump administration’s restrictive border policies.

The Tuesday signing would also come days after Mexico elected Claudia Sheinbaum as its next president.

The order would be an aggressive step by Biden to confront a looming election year issue at a time when the White House’s efforts to broker bipartisan legislation on the border have run into opposition from congressional Republicans. The White House has spent months weighing the legality and feasibility of taking executive action.

Biden and White House officials had previously said it was up to Congress to enact changes at the border, and the president and his team lobbied hard for a bipartisan bill in the Senate that would have provided funding for thousands of additional Border Patrol agents, investments in technology to catch fentanyl and target drug traffickers and the addition of asylum officers and immigration officers who could help relieve the backlog of asylum cases.

But the Senate blocked passage of that bill twice, with former President Trump and other Republicans staunchly opposing it. Trump had urged Republicans to oppose the bill, suggesting it could give Biden an election year win.

Republicans, including Trump, have turned immigration into a major issue heading into November’s election, seeking to blame Biden for the surge of migrants entering the U.S. at the southern border.

An Associated Press poll published in April found 16 percent of Americans said Biden’s presidency helped “a lot” or “a little on immigration and border security, compared to 46 percent who said Trump’s presidency helped a lot or a little on the issue.

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