President Biden Announces Executive Actions on Border Security

Written from White House press release:

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced a series of executive actions on Tuesday aimed at securing the U.S. southern border, criticizing Republicans for failing to pass bipartisan legislation on the issue.

“Good afternoon,” Biden began in the East Room of the White House. “I’ve come here today to do what the Republicans in Congress refuse to do: take the necessary steps to secure our border.”

The President referred to a bipartisan agreement reached four months ago that he described as the strongest border security deal in decades. However, he accused congressional Republicans of abandoning the deal under pressure from former President Donald Trump.

“Trump told them to walk away,” Biden said. “It was a cynical political move and a complete disservice to the American people, who are looking for us to fix the border, not weaponize it.”

Biden announced new actions that include barring migrants who cross the southern border unlawfully from receiving asylum. Migrants must now seek asylum through established lawful processes, such as making an appointment and coming to a port of entry. Those who do not follow legal pathways will be restricted from receiving asylum and staying in the United States.

“This action will help us gain control of our border and restore order to the process,” Biden said, adding that the ban will remain until the number of illegal entries is reduced to manageable levels.

The President highlighted recent reforms to the asylum system aimed at delivering decisions more efficiently. He mentioned the Department of Justice’s new docket to expedite cases for recent border crossers, with decisions to be made within six months instead of six years. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security has proposed rules to swiftly remove asylum seekers with criminal convictions.

Biden also emphasized efforts to dismantle criminal networks profiting from migrant smuggling and the deployment of federal prosecutors to border hotspots. He underscored the importance of cooperation with Mexico, crediting agreements with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for a dramatic drop in unlawful border crossings.

“While these steps are important, they’re not enough,” Biden stated. He called for Congress to provide funding for 1,500 more border security agents, 100 more immigration judges, 4,300 more asylum officers, and high-tech detection machines to screen for fentanyl smuggling.

Biden criticized those unwilling to allocate necessary resources for border security. “If you’re not willing to spend the money to hire more Border Patrol agents, more asylum officers, more judges, more high-tech machinery, you’re just not serious about protecting our border,” he said.

The President reiterated his commitment to immigration as a cornerstone of American identity and vowed never to demonize immigrants or separate families at the border.

“I will not ban people from this country because of their religious beliefs. I will not use the U.S. military to go into neighborhoods all across the country to pull millions of people out of their homes and away from their families,” Biden declared, taking a clear swipe at policies suggested by his predecessor.

Concluding his remarks, Biden called for a balanced approach to secure the border while upholding American values. “To protect America as a land that welcomes immigrants, we must first secure the border and secure it now,” he said. “We have to act. We must act consistent with both our law and our values.”

Biden promised further details in the coming weeks on how to make the immigration system fairer and more just, urging Congressional Republicans to join in solving the issue rather than perpetuating political fights.

“Let’s fix the problem and stop fighting about it,” Biden said. “I’m doing my part. We’re doing our part. Congressional Republicans should do their part.”

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