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HomePoliticsNational PoliticsBiden Expresses Willingness to Close Border Pending Congressional Agreement

Biden Expresses Willingness to Close Border Pending Congressional Agreement

President Joe Biden has expressed a commitment to potentially closing the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a congressional deal that would unlock funds for Ukraine. Speaking at a political event in South Carolina, Biden emphasized his willingness to shut down the border immediately if lawmakers sent him a bill to sign. The proposed bipartisan deal, still awaiting formal agreement between Senate Democrats and Republicans, faces an uncertain fate in the GOP-controlled House.

Biden’s proposed deal stipulates the closure of the border if around 5,000 migrants cross illegally on any given day, with some daily totals exceeding 10,000 last year. Former President Donald Trump has been urging Republicans to oppose the negotiations, aiming to deny Biden a win on an issue that played a crucial role in the 2016 Republican campaign.

In a written statement on Friday, Biden asserted that the deal would grant him “new emergency authority” to close the border, and he pledged to use it on the day the bill is signed. The president’s claim surprised immigrant advocates, who expected a more progressive approach from his administration.

Deirdre Schifeling, chief political and advocacy officer at the American Civil Liberties Union, criticized the proposals, stating that voters demand fair and effective immigration policies that treat people seeking safety with dignity.

President Biden is facing challenges on multiple fronts, dealing with an influx of asylum seekers while also cracking down on illegal border crossings. Democrats express frustration as asylum seekers overwhelm cities lacking the resources to care for them.

Responding to Biden’s comments, House Speaker Mike Johnson insisted that Biden doesn’t need congressional action to close the border and urged him to take immediate executive action.

Immigration remains a significant concern for voters in the 2024 election, with an AP-NORC poll showing an increase in those expressing concerns about immigration. Arrests for illegal border crossings from Mexico reached an all-time high in December, with 249,785 arrests recorded, a 31% increase from November and a 13% increase from December 2022. Notably, Mexicans, Venezuelans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Colombians accounted for the top five nationalities arrested.

By: Montana Newsroom staff

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