In a move that could potentially reshape the immigration landscape, President Joe Biden has expressed his support for a new bipartisan border deal that would grant him emergency authority to “shut down” the U.S.-Mexico border when it becomes overwhelmed. The proposed legislation, which is currently being negotiated in the Senate, would be the “toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country,” Biden stated.
The president’s endorsement of the deal comes as Senate negotiators are working to win the approval of House colleagues, some of whom have vowed to strike down the current border agreement. Biden’s statement was aimed at those demanding tougher border control measures, emphasizing that this bipartisan bill is the way to achieve it. He urged lawmakers to pass the bill if they are serious about addressing the border crisis, promising to sign it into law.
Biden’s support for the border deal represents a significant departure from his previous stance on immigration. Since taking office, he has faced criticism from some within his political base who argue that his approach to the migrant crisis is reminiscent of former President Donald Trump’s restrictive policies. By backing a bill that includes provisions to close down the border, Biden risks further inflaming these claims as he seeks to rally his party behind his reelection bid.
The proposed legislation would grant the president new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed. If the daily average of migrant encounters reaches 4,000 over a one-week period, the Department of Homeland Security would have the power to close the border. Additionally, if daily encounters exceed 5,000, the border would be closed to those crossing illegally, with certain exceptions for individuals fleeing torture or persecution in their home countries.
Biden’s statement comes as House Speaker Mike Johnson warned that the Senate’s border deal is likely to be “dead on arrival” in the House. Johnson, who has been in regular communication with Trump about border talks, argued that Biden has the power to address the migration issue through executive action. He called on the president to take immediate steps to reverse the situation he has created at the border.
In response to Johnson’s remarks, Biden reiterated his call for Congress to provide the funding he requested in October to secure the border. This funding would support the hiring of additional border patrol agents, immigration judges, asylum officers, and the implementation of advanced inspection machines to detect and prevent the smuggling of fentanyl.
The fate of the bipartisan border deal remains uncertain as negotiations continue. However, Biden’s endorsement of the legislation and his commitment to using emergency authority to shut down the border indicate a shift in his approach to immigration. As the debate over border control measures intensifies, it remains to be seen how this proposed legislation will fare in Congress and whether it will ultimately address the ongoing challenges at the southern border.
0. “Biden Urges Border Deal as Johnson Calls Plan ‘Dead on Arrival’” The Boston Globe, 27 Jan. 2024, https://www.bostonglobe.com/2024/01/26/business/biden-urges-border-deal-johnson-calls-plan-dead-arrival/
1. “Biden voices support for Senate border bill with new ’emergency’ powers” UPI News, 27 Jan. 2024, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2024/01/27/Biden-voices-support-Senate-border-bill-new-emergency-powers/7161706363564
2. “Biden vows to ‘shut down’ an overwhelmed border if Senate deal passes” The Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/01/26/biden-vows-shut-down-an-overwhelmed-border-if-senate-deal-passes/
3. “Biden pledges to sign ‘toughest and fairest’ border reforms ‘ever'” Washington Examiner, 26 Jan. 2024, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/white-house/2821716/biden-sign-ukraine-border-package-toughest-fairest/