Biden to Sign Executive Order for Stricter Border Control and Asylum Limits

The White House is finalizing plans to clamp down on the U.S.-Mexico border by restricting asylum requests and automatically denying entry to migrants once a new daily threshold of encounters is exceeded. According to AP News, President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order as early as Tuesday, according to sources familiar with the matter.

This move follows the collapse of a bipartisan border bill earlier this year. Despite a recent decline in illegal crossings, immigration remains a critical issue ahead of the November presidential election, with Republicans keen to criticize Biden’s handling of the border.

The proposed measures aim to prevent a potential spike in crossings as the fall election approaches and cooler weather sets in. The administration’s plan includes: as reported by Politico

  • Setting a daily cap on the number of migrant encounters at the border, potentially averaging 4,000 per day over a week, including those with appointments through the CBP One app.
  • Automatically removing migrants who arrive after the threshold is reached, in a manner similar to deportation, with limited ability to return.
  • Accelerating the processing of migrants with criminal records or those likely to be deemed ineligible for asylum.

These measures reflect some policies from a stalled bipartisan Senate border deal. The administration hopes to address the overwhelmed asylum system and expedite cases for migrants already in the U.S.

President Biden’s administration has implemented smaller steps to discourage migration and speed up asylum processing, and the executive order would allow Biden to demonstrate that he has taken significant action to control border numbers without Congressional help.

The discussions are still ongoing, and no final decisions have been made. The administration has also considered using Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows the president to block entry of certain immigrants if it would be “detrimental” to U.S. national interests.

White House spokesman Angelo Fernández Hernández stated that the administration is exploring various policy options to address the broken immigration system, despite Congressional Republicans blocking additional border enforcement measures.

Funding for immigration enforcement has increased, with Congress approving money for 41,500 detention beds and boosting funds for immigration enforcement and removal operations. However, any executive action Biden takes could face legal challenges, and it remains uncertain when or if the new asylum restrictions will take effect.