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Sens. Britt and Tuberville call executive order closing Southern border insufficient

Biden’s executive order limiting border crossings has drawn criticism from the left and right, including from both of Alabama’s senators.

Sen. Katie Britt and Sen. Tommy Tuberville
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On Tuesday, President Biden signed an executive order strictly limiting the number of people that can seek asylum at the United States-Mexico border. In a prepared statement to the press, the president said he did “what the Republicans in Congress refuse to do: take the necessary steps to secure our border.”

Under the executive order, the entry of any noncitizen into the United States across the southern border is hereby suspended and limited until the daily average number of border crossings over a calendar week is less than 1,500.

Alabama Senators Katie Britt and Tommy Tuberville both harshly criticized Biden’s action, calling it too little, too late, and a product of political desperation.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Britt said that the executive order confirms that [Biden’s] had the power all along to take executive action to address the border crisis he created.” She also called it a “gimmick that contains broad exceptions, including an exception for migrants who use his Administration’s one-click entry scheme – the CBP One app.”

The executive order does grant some latitude to the Secretary of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection in order to allow migrants to present asylum applications even when the order is in effect. However, it is presently unclear how much these clauses will be utilized.

In an interview on the Fox Business show Kudlow, Tuberville claimed that Biden believes in mass amnesty, called the executive order part of a war on America, and suggested Biden only issued the order thanks to his underwhelming performance in recent polls.

“It’ll never be enforced,” he continued. “They want more voters. They want more people here that will listen to them, that will abide by them, that will vote for them.”

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Tuberville and other Republicans have repeatedly accused Biden and other Democrats of purposefully encouraging immigration for their political benefit. This claim closely resembles the Great Replacement conspiracy theory, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the false assertion that there is an active, ongoing and covert effort to replace white populations in current white-majority countries.

Despite Republicans critiques of the executive order for not going far enough, progressive Democrats and immigration rights groups view it as a betrayal of Biden’s past promises regarding immigration policy.

In the 2019 Democratic debates, Biden said that for those who come seeking asylum, we should immediately have the capacity to absorb them, keep them safe until they can be heard.” He also said that people whose only offense is being undocumented should not be the focus of deportation. 

The American Civil Liberties Unions chief political and advocacy officer, Deirdre Schifeling, said the administration’s planned executive actions will put thousands of lives at risk.” The ACLU also stated that it will challenge the executive order in court, comparing it to previous Trump-era executive orders that it also challenged.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said on CNN that Biden’s executive order is severely limiting the right to seek asylum.

[The border] is a part of a broken immigration system that has not been updated in 30 years, Jayapal continued. And if we dont update that system and provide legal pathways for people to come in, then we are not going to solve this issue.

Chance Phillips is a reporting intern at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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