‘Too little, too late’: Why Biden’s border plan doesn’t impress critics

President Biden is expected to announce executive actions related to the ongoing crisis at the southern border by Tuesday as the issue threatens to become a major issue in the 2024 presidential race, with Republicans saying it is “too little, too late.”

Biden administration and border officials confirmed to Fox News that executive actions are expected to be announced by Tuesday before President Biden departs for Normandy. 

Details of what will be announced remain unclear. Some outlets reported that it could involve a mechanism to prevent additional migrant entries into the U.S. once there is a rolling seven-day average of more than 4,000 apprehensions a day.

MAYORKAS SAYS SOME MIGRANTS ‘TRY TO GAME’ ASYLUM SYSTEM, AS BORDER REMAINS TOP POLITICAL ISSUE

That mechanism would likely be similar to one proposed in a sweeping bipartisan Senate bill that was unveiled earlier this year and has backing from the Biden administration but has so far failed to drum up enough support to pass in the upper chamber. In that bill, a Title-42 style expulsion authority would allow agents to quickly remove migrants across the border. 

Biden could attempt to implement an authority by executive order using 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows presidents to limit the entry of foreign nationals into the U.S. 

Former President Trump used 212(f) multiple times during his presidency but was unsuccessful in using it to restrict border crossings, with a legal challenge scuppering the effort. Any similar move by President Biden would almost certainly face a similar challenge.

CHINESE, JORDANIAN, TURKISH ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS CAUGHT IN LARGE NUMBERS AT SOUTHERN BORDER

There are no plans for the president to visit the southern border next week ahead of his departure for Europe, officials say. 

The Biden administration has repeatedly said its hands are largely tied regarding fixing what it says is a “broken” immigration system and has repeatedly called for additional reforms and funding from Congress. In a statement to Fox News Digital on Monday, the White House said it “continues to explore a series of policy options and we remain committed to taking action to address our broken immigration system.”

“Congressional Republicans do not care about securing the border or fixing America’s broken immigration system. If they did, they would have voted for the toughest border enforcement in history. Instead, they put partisan politics ahead of our country’s national security,” a White House spokesperson said. 

“While Congressional Republicans chose to stand in the way of additional border enforcement, President Biden will not stop fighting to deliver the resources that border and immigration personnel need to secure our border.”

Republicans have blamed the policies of the administration, including the rollback of Trump-era policies such as wall construction, the Migrant Protection Protocols and increased interior enforcement. They have passed their own legislation in the House that would significantly limit asylum claims and restart border wall construction and similar measures. It has not yet been taken up by the Senate.

House Speaker Mike Johnson on Fox News Sunday said that the reported action from Biden is “too little too late.”

CLICK HERE FOR MORE COVERAGE OF THE BORDER SECURITY CRISIS

“Now he’s trying to desperately show the American people somehow that he wants to address the issue that he himself created,” he said. 

“We documented 64 specific executive actions of President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas of DHS took over the course of the last three and a half years beginning on the first day that President Biden took office to open the border. Why? They did it intentionally. And it is had catastrophic effects upon our country that we’ll be living with for decades to come,” he said.

Meanwhile, the illegal immigration crisis appears to be looming as a major election issue. A recent Fox News poll said the crisis at the southern border is the second most important issue for voters and 69% of respondents said they disapprove of Biden’s handling of the border. 

Trump won in 2016 due in large part to his plans to fix the southern border, an issue Biden’s critics say he has failed to properly address. 

However, in recent months the numbers of migrant encounters has decreased from the record highs seen in December, where there were more than 200,000 migrant encounters. 

There were 179,725 encounters at the southern border in April, compared to 211,992 in April 2023, and 189,357 in March.

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However, the administration has been using tougher rhetoric on the crisis. Recently, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that some migrants attempt to “game” the system.

“The reality is that some people do indeed try to game the system,” Mayorkas told CBS News last month. “That does not speak to everyone whom we encounter, but there is an element of it, and we deal with it accordingly.