Mayorkas fires shots at Capitol as Biden privately mulls new border action: ‘Congress needs to get a spine’

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sunday rebuked Republican claims that the border can be addressed solely through executive action by President Joe Biden, even as the White House weighs some of those actions. behind closed doors.

“We’re looking at options at any time,” Mayorkas said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But administrative action is no substitute for a lasting solution.”

the officials said NBC News in February Biden is considering implementing stricter asylum standards without Congress. The rules will raise the bar for asylum seekers and deport any immigrants who do not meet these high standards.

Strengthening asylum grants is just one of the policy options Biden is considering to unilaterally handle the border, officials told NBC News.

But Mayorkas, who was impeached by House Republicans in February, reiterated that the executive action is an inappropriate tool for border control, as it is subject to legal challenge and likely to be tied up in court.

Instead, he said Congress should pass the bipartisan border proposal it passed in February.

Mayorkas’ comments adhere to the White House’s current playbook on the border crisis: Publicly decry Capitol Hill’s impasse on border policy, while privately the president weighs executive border actions.

The border issue has taken on a political dimension, especially as anti-Biden ammunition for GOP front-runner and former President Donald Trump. Both Biden and Trump visited cities on the southern border on Thursday, each trying to play up the issue.

“Here’s what I would say to Mr. Trump: come up with a planned policy on this issue, instead of telling members of Congress to block this legislation,” Biden said Thursday in Brownsville, Texas.

Trump reportedly told Senate Republicans to freeze $20 billion in extra border security funding included in a proposed foreign aid package so it wouldn’t give Democrats a victory during an election year. That sent border policy reform back on the drawing board after already months of negotiations.

Meanwhile, Republicans have continued to pin the border issues on Biden, arguing that he doesn’t need additional border control authority but rather lacks the desire to execute.

“If we don’t get him out of the Oval Office, we’re never going to have a secure border because he doesn’t have the will to do basic border enforcement,” Sen. JD Vance, R-Oh., said Sunday on Fox. “Sunday Morning Futures” news.

Mayorkas and White House officials have vehemently denied that claim.

“It couldn’t be more wrong,” Mayorkas said Sunday. “Administrative action is no substitute for a lasting solution. … Congress needs to get a backbone.”

But the longer the Biden administration waits for Congress to act, the greater the political cost. As border legislation remains deadlocked in Congress, the Biden team is looking for a victory at the border without help from Capitol Hill.

“My friends, it’s time to get on with it,” Biden said Thursday in Brownsville. “We can’t wait any longer.”

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