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Joe Biden vows to toughen border security if Congress passes ‘bipartisan bill’

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President Biden pledged Friday that he was ready to toughen border security, but said he wanted Congress to pass legislation to give him new tools before doing so.

Mr. Biden issued a statement attempting to provide a legislative response to a faltering deal on Capitol Hill. He said he looks forward to signing something that Congress produces in a bipartisan way.

In particular, he said he was enthusiastic about establishing a new deportation power that would come into effect when illegal immigration crosses 5,000 captured migrants in a day.

“This would give me, as president, new emergency authority to close the border when it is saturated. And if I had that authority, I would use it the day I signed the bill,” Mr. Biden said.

It’s a stark turnaround for Mr. Biden, who has spent the past three years erasing precisely the kind of powers the Trump administration gave him.

Among them were the Remain in Mexico policy, which built on already existing laws to push illegal immigrants back into Mexico pending the outcome of their immigration cases, and Title 42’s pandemic border expulsion authority , which Mr. Biden spent years trying to undo before. finally succeeding last May.

SEE ALSO: DHS reports worst border numbers in history as House moves to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas

The president, in his statement, did not explain why he was more eager to use the new expulsion power under discussion on Capitol Hill.

But he said he was eager to sign legislation.

“Securing the border through these negotiations is a victory for America,” he said. “For all those calling for stricter border control, this is the way to do it. If you are serious about the border crisis, pass a bipartisan bill and I will sign it.”

The Washington Times reported that the deal Senate Republicans and Democrats are working on would grant immediate work permits to illegal immigrants Mr. Biden catches and releases, and would also include the authority to issue tens of thousands of immigration visas. additional legal immigrants and hundreds of thousands. guest work permit. It would also provide taxpayer-funded lawyers to some illegal immigrants, particularly children.

Republicans say it would also increase the country’s ability to deport some illegal immigrants and strengthen asylum rules.

But it is unclear what new limits would be placed on Mr. Biden’s “parole” power, a key tool that he and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas have used to welcome millions of illegal immigrants.

Analysts question how much the deal would actually reduce illegal immigration.

Negotiations have been stalled by leaked details and House Republicans have made clear the deal would go nowhere in the lower chamber even if approved by the Senate. Former President Donald Trump also spoke out this week, saying Republicans should reject any deal that doesn’t completely resolve the border.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been pushing for a deal, was also gloomy about the outlook, saying politics had changed with Mr. Trump’s lock on the issue increasingly likely. Republican Party presidential nomination.

House Republicans say part of their reluctance to make a deal is because they don’t trust Mr. Biden to enforce the laws they pass because he skirts existing laws on immigration which already requires the detention of most illegal immigrants arrested at the border. .

House Speaker Mike Johnson also said Mr. Biden can act on his own, emphasizing that he ended Trump’s tough policies that largely resolved the border in 2020, and that he can put back in place.

Homeland Security reported encountering more than 370,000 illegal migrants in December alone. That’s about four times more than in December 2020, the last full month under Mr. Trump’s leadership.

Mr. Biden is facing serious criticism from his left flank for agreeing to some asylum and deportation changes, with immigrant rights advocates calling them “anti-immigrant.”

“Make no mistake, this is political, not moral,” said Erol Kekic, senior vice president of Church World Service, a major refugee agency. “The current embrace of an isolationist ideology is alarming and confusing.”

News Source : www.washingtontimes.com
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