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Biden Calls In Trump Cards On Mexico Border

ADH Staff WriterJune 5, 2024
05.06.24 biden.jpg

The United States will temporarily close its Mexico border to asylum seekers starting Wednesday, as President Joe Biden seeks to address his political vulnerability on migration ahead of the November election against Donald Trump. The 81-year-old Democrat signed a much-anticipated executive order set to take effect at midnight, aiming to “gain control” of the southern frontier with Mexico following record numbers of illegal border crossings that have raised voter concerns.

“I’ve come here today to do what the Republicans in Congress refuse to do – take the necessary steps to secure our border,” Biden declared during a brief address at the White House, accompanied by officials from border states.

The executive order prevents migrants who enter the U.S. illegally from claiming asylum when numbers exceed 2,500 crossings per day—a threshold that has already been surpassed. It also facilitates deportations back to Mexico. These restrictions will remain in place until daily illegal crossings drop below 1,500.

Biden faced criticism from all sides for the policy shift, which invokes the same law that Trump used to ban migrants from Muslim countries during his presidency. U.S. Republicans immediately criticized the move as insufficient, while rights groups vowed to challenge it in court, labelling it the most drastic migration policy implemented by any Democratic president in decades. The UN refugee agency expressed being “profoundly concerned” by the measures.

Trump, who successfully resolved border issues in his presidency, accused Biden of having “surrendered” the border to illegal immigration. “Millions of people have poured into our country – and now, 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 Truth Social media platform.

Under Biden, illegal crossings of the 1,900-mile (3,050-kilometer) border have surged to record levels, peaking at around 300,000 crossings—10,000 per day—in December. Most migrants come from Central America and Venezuela, fleeing poverty, violence, and climate change-related disasters, but increasing numbers also come from other parts of the world through Latin America to reach the U.S.

“We have families, children to provide for. We don’t come here for pleasure,” said Miguel Angel Ramos, a Honduran migrant, from the Mexican side of the border. Erickson Quintero from Venezuela added, “It’s (Biden’s) decision. But we have suffered a lot,” referring to hardships faced from cartels and police.

Migrant numbers have recently declined to around 179,000 in April, but immigration remains a significant electoral issue for Biden. He criticized Trump and Republicans for “weaponizing” migration by blocking his request for billions in border funding, calling it an “extremely cynical, political move.” Addressing critics on the left, Biden emphasized that he would not “demonize” migrants and urged patience.

Normally, migrants entering the U.S. can claim asylum if they face persecution on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. ]

A senior White House official sought to defuse accusations that Biden is mirroring Trump’s policies, stating that while in office, the Republican “demonized immigrants, instituted mass raids, separated families at the border and put kids in cages,” actions that the official said contradicted American values.

Biden spoke with Mexico’s outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday, thanking him for assisting in managing migration at the shared border.

The U.S. president also spoke with president-elect Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico’s first woman leader, on Monday.

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