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Biden considering executive action to restrict asylum claims at US-Mexico border

President Joe Biden is weighing an executive action that would restrict people who illegally cross into the United States from Mexico from claiming asylum, several media outlets reported Wednesday.

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The New York Times and CNN, each quoting anonymous sources, said the move being considered by the president would suspend guarantees that give any person who crosses into the U.S. the right to seek safe haven in the country.

The order would trigger a key plank in a bipartisan bill that Republicans blocked last month, the Times reported. It would shut down the U.S.-Mexico border if more than an average of 5,000 migrants attempted to cross illegally per day, or 8,500 in a given week, according to the newspaper.

Some ideas under discussion include using a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act to stop migrants from seeking asylum between U.S. ports of entry, Politico reported. The authority, known as 212f, would attempt to tighten up the border between those ports, according to CNN.

White House spokesperson Angelo Fernández Hernández did not comment about the president’s possible executive action, the cable news outlet reported.

“The Administration spent months negotiating in good faith to deliver the toughest and fairest bipartisan border security bill in decades because we need Congress to make significant policy reforms and to provide additional funding to secure our border and fix our broken immigration system,” Fernández Hernández said in a statement. “No executive action, no matter how aggressive, can deliver the significant policy reforms and additional resources Congress can provide and that Republicans rejected. We continue to call on Speaker (Mike) Johnson and House Republicans to pass the bipartisan deal to secure the border.”

If Biden issues the move, it would be similar to a 2018 attempt by then-President Donald Trump to block migration, the Times reported. Trump’s action was criticized by Democrats and blocked by federal courts, according to the newspaper.