Biden is weighing exercising executive authority to conduct a border crackdown ahead of the 2024 election

Washington – President Biden is debating whether to crack down on immigrants, a major presidential power that has been discredited during the Trump administration. America's southern borderThree people familiar with the plans told CBS News.

Mr. Biden weighed in, citing a 1952 law that has severely restricted access to the U.S. asylum system. Record levels of migrant arrivals at the border With Mexico, the sources said they requested anonymity to discuss internal government discussions.

That law, known as 212(f), allows the president to “suspend the entry” of aliens when it is determined that their visit is not in the national interest. The Trump administration has used the law several times, including banning immigration and travel from certain countries, most of which are Muslim, and preventing immigrants from seeking asylum if they entered the country illegally.

Members of the Texas National Guard are seen on the southern border in Texas on February 4, 2024.

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If approved, Mr. Biden's executive action could be announced within the next two weeks, the sources said. No final decisions have been made on whether the president will take executive action to address the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, which is experiencing the largest influx of migrants in U.S. history, an administration official said.

Any significant restriction on asylum would face formidable legal and operational obstacles. Still, issuing an executive order designed to crack down on illegal crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border is likely ahead of the 2024 election. It could be considered an important political message for Biden. Border Policy Mr. One of Biden's worst polling issues is that many polls show that a majority of Americans disapprove of his handling of immigration.

Mr. Trump, who has vowed to “rebuild” the U.S. asylum system when he takes office in 2021. The executive order will also confirm Biden's dramatic immigration policy focus. Dissatisfaction with Democratic-led cities receiving immigrants, Mr. The Biden administration adopted some restrictions on asylum.

truly, The White House struck a deal Last month, a panel of senators gave the president the authority to suspend asylum laws and summarily deport immigrants when illegal immigration spikes. After insisting on restrictive asylum changes in exchange for supporting more border funding and aid to Ukraine, Republican lawmakers rejected the deal, saying it was not strict enough.

Sen. James Lankford speaks to reporters in the Senate Reception Room on January 31, 2024.

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In a statement, White House spokesman Angelo Fernandez Hernandez said Republican lawmakers “have chosen to put partisan politics ahead of our national security.”

“No executive action, no matter how radical, can deliver the significant policy reforms and additional resources that Congress can provide and Republicans reject,” Fernandez-Hernandez added. “We continue to call on Speaker Johnson and House Republicans to pass a bipartisan deal to secure the border.”

Mr. If Biden decides to invoke the authority, his administration will face significant operational challenges in implementing it at scale.

Last year, the administration enacted a rule that deems immigrants ineligible for asylum if they enter the U.S. illegally without seeking protection in a third country. But with a sufficient number of asylum officers, detention beds and other resources, they cannot screen all immigrants entering the United States illegally under those standards. Instead, most cross-border crossers have been released in recent months with court cases that take years to determine due to a massive backlog of applications.

If this move is implemented, it will certainly face lawsuits.

This is the last version The Trump administration's so-called “travel ban.” Affirmed by the Supreme Court, lower courts have blocked the use of 212(f) authority to make most immigrants ineligible for asylum at the southern border.

It's unclear how the Biden administration expects its own initiative to exercise the court's existing 212(f) authority. U.S. law gives immigrants the right to seek asylum even if they cross the border without authorization on U.S. soil.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt, who successfully convinced federal judges to halt the Trump administration's asylum ban, said Mr. Biden hinted that the government would be sued again if it issued a similar order.

“An executive order denying asylum based on where someone enters the country would be another attempt at Trump's failed right-wing policy and will undoubtedly end in lawsuits,” Gelernt told CBS News.

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