Jun 5, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Biden takes heat from both sides on border order

oe Biden delivers remarks on an executive order limiting asylum in the East Room of the White House on June 04

Joe Biden at the White House on June 4. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden's long-anticipated move to issue a sweeping executive order cracking down illegal border crossings has managed to anger both Democrats and Republicans.

Why it matters: It is the Biden administration's most aggressive effort thus far to tackle the immigration issues that have become a key focus of Republican attacks.

Catch up quick: The executive order signed on Tuesday will allow border officials to quickly turn back migrants without giving them a chance at asylum when illegal border crossings reach an average of 2,500 a day.

  • The order could go into effect immediately since there have been an average of 3,700 illegal crossings a day over the past three weeks.
  • Once illegal border crossings fall below a daily average of 1,500 a week, the normal border process would resume two weeks later, including increased access to asylum.

State of play: Biden's order divided members of his own party.

  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor Tuesday that Biden was forced to take action after Republicans tanked a bipartisan border bill from passing in Congress earlier this year.
  • The executive order was "a lot better than doing nothing," Schumer added.

What they're saying: Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) praised the executive order in a statement, saying it would "bring relief to our border communities."

  • Rep. Tom Suozzi's (D-N.Y.) told CNN that Biden had "no choice" but to act and that Americans want to see politicians take action on immigration.

Zoom in: The executive order incited pushback from many Democrats.

  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) called the order "extremely disappointing" and "a dangerous step in the wrong direction."
  • Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) said Biden had "undermined American values" with an executive order that would ultimately "fail to address the challenges" at the border while denying asylum to those with legitimate claims.

The other side: Republicans were quick to disavow the executive order, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) calling it "too little, too late" and saying it would still allow hundreds of thousands of crossings annually.

  • Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said Tuesday Biden was "not serious about securing the border" and that the order was mere "political cover" in the face of the looming election and low poll numbers.
  • Even former President Trump, who was convicted last week of 34 felony counts in his New York hush money trial, weighed in on Truth Social.
  • "Crooked Joe Biden is pretending to finally do something about the border—but in fact, it's all for show," Trump said.

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