Apr 10, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden plans order to limit southern border crossings by end of month

In a screenshot of an interview with Univision, President Biden sits in a chair with a U.S. flag behind him as he speaks to the interviewer.

Screenshot: Univision

President Biden used an interview with Spanish-language broadcaster Univision that aired Tuesday to send a massive signal that he plans to issue an executive order to dramatically limit the number of asylum-seekers who can cross the southern border.

  • Axios is told that while it's not final, such an executive order is likely by the end of April.

Why it matters: We're told there's a fierce debate internally about the legality and politics of a Trump-like lockdown. But Biden, briefed on polls of rising voter anger, wants a dramatic step.

Between the lines: The provision Biden is eyeing would restrict the ability of immigrants to claim asylum, and doesn't require congressional approval, Axios reported in February.

  • Biden would use authority in Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which gives the president broad leeway to block entry of certain immigrants if it would be "detrimental" to U.S. national interests.
  • He'd be taking a page from former President Trump, who has repeatedly leaned on that section.

Zoom in: "We're examining whether or not I have that power," Biden told Univision's Enrique Acevedo in an interview taped last week that aired Tuesday night.

  • "Some are suggesting that I should just go ahead and try it," Biden said. "And if I get shut down by the court, I get shut down by the court."
  • Biden said there's "no guarantee" he has the power to take action on the border without legislation from Congress.
  • But he plans to lean in.

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