Mar 26, 2024 - News

Biden's "nuclear" border option

President Biden, dressed in slacks and a sports coat, waves at a camera while walking across a lawn.

Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden is still considering harsh executive actions at the border before November's election, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Legal, logistical and political risks are constantly being weighed. Any new surge in border numbers could add urgency for what one administration official described as the nuclear option, Axios' Stef W. Kight writes.

  • "The bullet's in the chamber," said another source familiar with the planning.
  • Border numbers fell in January and only ticked up slightly in February. But crossings historically rise in the spring and summer, which could put more pressure on the administration to take more drastic measures. That, however, would upset some Democrats.

Zoom in: The orders being considered would ban people from entering the U.S. if they illegally crossed the border and make it harder for people to pass the first interview in the asylum-seeking process, as has been reported.

What they're saying: "No executive action, no matter how aggressive, can deliver the significant policy reforms and additional resources Congress can provide and that Republicans rejected," a White House spokesperson told Axios.

  • "We continue to call on Speaker [Mike] Johnson and House Republicans to pass the bipartisan deal to secure the border."

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