Biden Criticized from Both Sides After ‘Disappointing’ Executive Order

The Biden administration’s recent announcement of a new asylum policy for migrants crossing the southern border has ignited a firestorm of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. The order, which aims to temporarily suspend the entry of non-citizens once daily border encounters exceed a certain threshold, has been labeled a “desperate political stunt” by GOP leaders and a “dangerous step in the wrong direction” by some Democratic lawmakers.

Unveiling the New Asylum Restrictions

President Biden signed a proclamation that will temporarily halt the entry of non-citizens across the southern border once the number of average daily border encounters exceeds 2,500 over a seven-day period. This temporary suspension will remain in effect until 14 days after the seven-day average drops below 1,500 encounters.

The order includes several exceptions, such as exempting visa holders, unaccompanied children, victims of human trafficking, and those facing medical emergencies or threats to their safety. It also does not apply to migrants entering through ports of entry using the CBP One app, which allows around 1,500 migrants to be admitted daily.

The Biden administration’s move has drawn sharp criticism from both sides of the aisle, albeit for different reasons.

Republican Rebuke

House Republican leaders, including Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Whip Tom Emmer, condemned the order as a “desperate political stunt” aimed at boosting the President’s “plummeting poll numbers” ahead of the November elections. They accused Biden of implementing a “failed open border agenda” that has “turned every American community into a border community” and exposed the country to “violent criminals, terrorists, cartels, and poisonous drugs.”

Democratic Dissent

While some Democrats acknowledged the administration’s efforts to address the border crisis, others were more vocal in their disapproval. Representative Pramila Jayapal, the ranking member of the House Judiciary subcommittee on immigration, called the move a “dangerous step in the wrong direction” and noted that the underlying authority had previously been used by the Trump administration to implement the controversial “Muslim ban.”

Questioning the Effectiveness

Critics from both parties have raised doubts about the order’s ability to meaningfully address the border crisis. Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, questioned the timing of the announcement, asking why the administration had “waited until now if [they] were serious about doing it.”

Stephen Miller, a former senior White House official during the Trump administration, highlighted the limitations of the order, stating that migrants who are unable to claim asylum at the border will still be released into the interior of the country on “Notice to Appear” documents and paroled due to capacity concerns.

Concerns over Asylum Access

The order’s impact on asylum seekers has also been a source of concern for some Democrats. Senator Alex Padilla of California accused Biden of “undermining American values and abandoning our nation’s obligations to provide people fleeing persecution, violence and authoritarianism with an opportunity to seek refuge in the U.S.”

Representative Bennie Thompson, the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, expressed similar worries, stating that the administration must “ensure continued access to asylum under U.S. law.”

The Underlying Immigration Debate

At the heart of the controversy lies a longstanding and divisive debate over immigration policy. The Biden administration’s move has been viewed by some as a continuation of the “enforcement-only approach” that characterized the Trump era, while others argue that it fails to address the root causes of the border crisis.

Potential Political Implications

The backlash to the Biden administration’s asylum order has raised questions about its potential political ramifications. With the midterm elections on the horizon, the issue of border security has emerged as a key battleground, and the President’s actions may have significant implications for his party’s electoral prospects.

Calls for Comprehensive Reform

Amid the partisan bickering, there have been renewed calls for a more comprehensive and bipartisan approach to addressing the challenges at the southern border. Lawmakers from both parties have urged the administration to work with Congress to develop a coherent and effective immigration policy that balances security concerns with humanitarian considerations.

The Ongoing Border Crisis

The Biden administration’s asylum order comes at a time of sustained pressure at the southern border, with record-high numbers of migrant encounters. The crisis has strained the resources of border agencies and sparked concerns about the safety and well-being of both migrants and local communities.

Seeking a Balanced Approach

As the debate over the asylum order continues, there is a growing recognition that a balanced and nuanced approach is needed to address the complex challenges at the border. This may involve a combination of enhanced security measures, improved processing and detention capabilities, and a focus on addressing the root causes of migration in the countries of origin.

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