As Republican governors circle the wagon around Texas, President Biden on Saturday doubled down on a reluctant agreement to secure the southern US border – but only if if Congress passes a bipartisan bill that would also allocate funds for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, and would still allow as many as 150,000 illegal crossings per month.
"If that bill were the law today I'd shut down the border right now and fix it quickly and bring a bipartisan bill that would be good for America and help fix our broken immigration system, and allow speedy access for those who deserve to be here," Biden said, according to Fox News" Chad Pergram.
Except, as many have pointed out, Biden doesn't need Congress, or the bill, to do that right now.
As we noted yesterday, House Speaker Mike Johnson debunked the claim, saying "President Biden falsely claimed yesterday he needs Congress to pass a new law to allow him to close the southern border, but he knows that is untrue."
"As I explained to him in a letter late last year, and have specifically reiterated to him on multiple occasions since, he can and must take executive action immediately to reverse the catastrophe he has created," Johnson continued.
Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) hit back against a Monday ruling by the Supreme Court which allows the Biden administration to cut razor wire that the state had installed along the US-Mexico border, while a broader lawsuit over the wire plays out. In fact, Texas responded by installing more razor wire.
"The Texas National Guard continues to hold the line in Eagle Pass," Abbott posted on X Tuesday morning, adding "Texas will not back down from our efforts to secure the border in Biden’s absence."
Congress Hops To
Instead of forcing Biden to simply wave his pen and start securing the border, a bipartisan group of lawmakers simply can't let a good opportunity for pork go to waste, and are "on the verge' of striking a deal with the Biden administration that would enact "sweeping new border controls,' according to CBS News.
After weeks of, the White House and a trio of senators could unveil an agreement as early as this week, the sources said, requesting anonymity due to the private nature of the conversations. The bill is designed to reduce the unprecedented levels of illegal crossings recorded along the southern border in the past three years.
While GOP Sen. James Lankford, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy and independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema are close to finalizing the compromise with the White House, any bipartisan immigration proposal would face an uphill battle in the House, where Speaker Mike Johnson and other conservative lawmakersfor even stricter changes to the asylum system.
The agreement would give the executive branch new legal authority to effectively suspend asylum between official ports of entry after migrant crossings reach certain levels in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. When this authority is invoked, illegal immigrants would face swift deportation to Mexico or their home country, unless they qualify to stay following screenings for "humanitarian refuge.'
There's a Catch...
The bipartisan rule still allows migrant crossings to hit an average of 5,000 per day, or 8,500 in a single day, before the power would be mandated. So, there would still be up to 150,000 illegal crossings permitted monthly.
No word from CBS whether the Sunday bipartisan package includes Ukraine or Israel funds.