Jan 31, 2024

Biden Could End Migrant Crisis, But Blames Republicans Instead

The president doesn’t need Congress to secure the border, but he is more focused on scoring political points against the GOP.
Biden Could End Migrant Crisis, But Blames Republicans Instead

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What’s happening: President Joe Biden’s team spent weeks negotiating border security legislation with senators. The White House now claims Biden is ready to pass “the toughest and fairest set of reforms … we’ve ever had in our country” — if Republicans stop resisting.

  • Zoom out: Illegal border crossings have decreased since Mexico started cracking down weeks ago, but the U.S. is still seeing thousands per day. Recent polls show most voters consider immigration a top issue in the 2024 elections and want stricter policies.
  • No deal: Republicans say Biden’s promises are empty because the legislation would legalize at least 5,000 migrant crossings per day — nearly two million every year.
  • History: Past presidents have shut down ports of entry at the border with no legal constraints.

How we got here: Biden changed executive policy to make it easier to enter and remain in the U.S. illegally.

  • Easy asylum: His administration allowed far more asylum seekers to enter the U.S. by removing traditional barriers. It also ended the Trump-era “remain in Mexico” policy after fighting legal challenges up to the Supreme Court.
  • Illegal parole programs: The administration has expanded “parole” for migrants — which federal law already allows on a case-by-case basis — by making entire countries eligible and flouting court orders declaring it illegal.
  • Almost no removals: Biden paused deportations on his first day in office and has kept them at a rate of about one percent.

Why it matters: Biden could end these policies himself and drastically reduce illegal migration. But the Biden administration is keeping its loose border operations going while portraying Republicans as obstructionist for rejecting legislation — shifting the political blame for the crisis ahead of the elections.

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