Dems say Biden’s order necessary, Republicans say ‘too little, too late’

Dems say Biden’s order necessary, Republicans say ‘too little, too late’
President Joe Biden issued an executive order Tuesday placing temporary holds on asylum-seeking migrants. (Courtesy of The White House)

President Joe Biden’s executive order that places temporary holds on asylum-seeking migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border elicited mixed reactions from officials Tuesday, with Democrats praising the act and Republicans calling it “too little, too late.”

The order caps the number of migrants seeking asylum at 2,500 per day and calls for the border to be closed to asylum seekers when the limit is exceeded. Since daily totals are above 2,500 entries per day, the restrictions could go into effect immediately.

“[People at the U.S.-Mexico border] don’t have time for the games played in Washington and neither do the American people, so today, I am moving past Republican obstruction and using the executive authorities available to me as president to do what I can on my own to address the border,” Biden said during a press conference.

The president said the border is not a “political issue to be weaponized” and criticized Republican members of Congress for their inability to pass a bipartisan border bill introduced earlier this year, which Republicans said was not strong enough.

Republican senators scuttled a bipartisan border deal in February that was called the toughest in a generation after former President Donald Trump expressed opposition. House Speaker Mike Johnson said that legislation was required before he considered a funding bill for Ukraine, Israel, and the Far East.

Under Biden’s executive order, migrants can still seek asylum through legal routes, such as booking an appointment with a border official.

Rep. Tom Suozzi (CD-3) spoke out in support of the executive order.

“The system is broken, and the president has to take this action because the Congress has failed to act,” Suozzi said.

The congressman said millions of asylum-seeking cases have been “backlogged,” taking up to eight years to be adjudicated, and a large majority of the cases are denied.

Suozzi said only 9% of asylum cases in the first quarter of 2024 and 13% of cases in all of 2023 were granted.

The Glen Cove Democrat, who won the 3rd Congressional District seat of disgraced former Rep. George Santos in a special election in February, echoed Biden’s criticisms of Congress.

“Now it’s time for the Republicans in Congress to step up and pass, right now, laws to secure the border,” Suozzi said. “President Biden has taken this action. Now, the GOP needs to stop acting out. No more excuses.”

The Democrats for Border Security Task Force publicly supported the order, saying they “commend” the president for bringing “order to the border.”

Republicans criticized Biden’s order, saying it is still not strong enough and that it comes after too much delay.

“After nearly four years of his failed weak leadership – pathetic leadership – Crooked Joe Biden is pretending to finally do something about the border,” Trump said in a video posted to his social media site, Truth Social. “But in fact, it’s all about show, because he knows we have a debate coming up in three weeks.

Speaker Mike Johnson agreed, calling Biden’s move “window dressing” at a news conference Tuesday morning.

“If he was concerned about the border, he would have done this a long time ago,” Johnson said.

Other Republicans shared this concern over Biden’s bold, election-year move.

“President Joe Biden’s reversal of President Donald Trump’s effective border security executive orders led to the current migrant crisis plaguing our nation, and Biden’s new election-season stunt is too little, too late,” Republican Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (CD-4) said in a statement. “House Republicans passed our H.R. 2 comprehensive border security plan over a year ago, and if President Biden was serious about seeking solutions to the border crisis he fomented, he would support our Republican legislation and reinstate all of President Trump’s 64 border security executive orders.”

The Island Park representative, who is running for re-election, publicly endorsed Trump in February. Trump endorsed D’Esposito in a social media post last week.

Biden said the executive order will remain in place until the number of asylum-seeking migrants illegally crossing the border decreases.

The American Civil Liberties Union said it will challenge the executive order in court, just as it successfully challenged Trump’s asylum-blocking policy during his presidency.


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