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Swalwell defends timing of Biden's expected executive order on border security

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) on Sunday suggested the timing of President Biden’s reported executive order on border security is to blame on Republican inaction in Congress, pushing back on GOP criticism that the order is coming too late.

“Well, look, [Biden] wanted to … he thought it would be validated by having Congress do it. Republicans aren’t going to do it, so he’s got to do something,” Swalwell said when asked on NewsNation’s “The Hill Sunday” if Biden’s expected executive order on the border is “too late.”

Biden is reportedly expected to sign an executive order this week that will address immigration and security amid criticism from both parties over his handling of the situation at the border, NewsNation reported last week, citing a border community leader who requested anonymity. NewsNation is owned by Nexstar Media Group, which also owns The Hill.

The White House’s planned action would shut off asylum requests and automatically deny entrance to migrants once the number of people encountered by American border officials exceeded a new daily threshold, The Associated Press (AP) reported last week, citing four people familiar with the matter.

Biden could sign the executive order as early as Tuesday, the news wire added.

When asked for the expected response from the left flank of the Democratic Party, Swalwell said, “We need security at the border.”

“And we’re not going to be able to address, you know, legal immigration pathways until Americans feel that there’s real security at the border because we have a workforce crisis when it comes to hospitality, when it comes to child care, when it comes to agriculture,” he said. “But Republicans have driven this narrative, and most want us to have a legal immigration flow that addresses that.”

The executive order, if signed, would come just weeks after Senate Republicans helped sink long-sought border security legislation. Biden last month argued the vote shows the GOP does not care about securing the U.S.’s southern border.

“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 in a statement to The Hill on Sunday.

The vote marked the second failed attempt at passing the bipartisan legislation, which would have allowed agencies to hire more Border Patrol agents, immigration judges and asylum officers, while also providing funding for technology to detect and stop fentanyl trafficking.

White House officials did not confirm the expected executive order, though the spokesperson noted to The Hill, “As we have said before, the Administration continues to explore a series of policy options and we remain committed to taking action to address our broken immigration system.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) argued the executive order is “too little too late.”

Johnson contended Biden is only taking initiative on the issue due to recent polls that suggest immigration is of top concern for Americans.

“And now he wants to issue some sort of executive order, I guess to show that, ‘Oh he really does care about the issue.’ The only reason he’s doing that is because the polls say that it’s the biggest issue in America,” Johnson said.

Source: The Hill

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