Biden to Enact Executive Measures on Immigration and Border Security This Week

By: Georgia | Published: Jun 03, 2024

President Joe Biden is setting the stage to take executive action on immigration at the southern border. 

After admitting he needed Congress to address the surge in illegal crossings, he’s now poised to go it alone. This shift comes amid continuous high illegal immigration rates that have challenged his administration.

Congressional Roadblocks

Biden’s call for Congressional support has repeatedly hit walls. Efforts to expand his presidential authority over border policies stumbled as a bipartisan deal failed to launch earlier this year. 

Wide-angle view of the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. under a clear blue sky

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This week, however, marks a potential turning point with Biden expected to bypass these legislative hurdles.


Bipartisan Pushback

In May, the Senate dismissed a critical border measure, with both parties uniting against it.

Interior view of the United States Senate Chamber with rows of empty red seats and ornate decoration

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This rejection has prompted the administration to consider unilateral actions, which could include implementing parts of the failed Senate deal independently.

A New Threshold Approach?

The White House, according to insider sources, might impose a daily migrant cap. 

View of a tall border fence extending into the ocean with waves lapping at the sand, under a cloudy sky

Source: Wikimedia Commons

They’re considering a limit of 4,000 migrant encounters per day, summing up to 28,000 a week. What happens once these limits are reached, though, remains a big question.

Echoes of Past Policies

The proposed cap resembles a central piece of the rejected Senate bill.

Close-up portrait of Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, in an office setting

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This similarity has not escaped criticism, especially from Republicans who argue that it fails to adequately tackle illegal immigration—a crisis declared by Biden’s own DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in April.

Leveraging Presidential Power

Under Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Biden has the authority to block entry to certain immigrants if deemed harmful to national interests.

President Joe Biden walking and conversing with Border Patrol agents in a grassy area near the border

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This legal backdrop has been a tool for past presidents, including Trump, and does not require Congressional nod.


Biden’s Legislative Wishes

Despite the executive route, Biden has repeatedly expressed a preference for legislative solutions.

President Joe Biden smiling broadly while giving a speech, standing at a podium with microphones and a backdrop of multiple American flags

Source: POTUS/X

He has been pushing for a Senate bill that would grant him emergency powers to shut the border under overwhelming circumstances—a bill he’s promised to enact immediately if passed.


Going Solo on Immigration Reform

With Congressional support thin, the White House is reportedly prepared to act alone on immigration reform.

The White House viewed from the front lawn, showcasing its iconic neoclassical architecture under a partly cloudy sky

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Sources suggest an executive order might be imminent, demonstrating Biden’s determination to address border security without waiting for Congress.


White House’s Persistent Efforts

White House spokesperson Angelo Fernández Hernández recently emphasized ongoing efforts to explore various policy options aimed at fixing the broken immigration system. 

Aerial view of the U.S.-Mexico border showing a fence dividing the green landscape on one side from the urban area on the other, with vehicles on a nearby road

Source: Wikimedia Commons

He criticized Congressional Republicans for obstructing further border enforcement measures.


Political Timing and Criticism

Republican Speaker Mike Johnson has criticized Biden’s potential border policy reversal, labeling it as “too little too late” and driven by election-year pressures.

A male Republican Speaker, wearing glasses and a blue suit, speaking at a podium with an American flag backdrop, appearing serious

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Johnson argues that Biden’s actions are more about optics as immigration tops public concern polls.


Allegations of Policy Missteps

Johnson also accuses Biden and DHS Secretary Mayorkas of deliberately loosening border controls, a move he claims has had “catastrophic effects” on the country.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas standing, dressed in a navy suit, giving an interview with American and DHS flags in the background, inside a well-lit room

Source: Wikimedia Commons

His remarks demonstrate a deep partisan divide over how to handle the border crisis.


Election Year Strategies

As the election looms, Biden’s sudden shift towards executive action on immigration is seen by some as a strategic move to address voter concerns. 

President Joe Biden, in a business suit, walking alongside Border Patrol agents by a tall border fence, engaging in conversation

Source: Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

Critics, like Johnson, suggest it’s a calculated attempt to salvage voter confidence by demonstrating a tough stance on an issue he’s accused of exacerbating.