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Biden Issues Executive Order to Temporarily Close Border to Migrants

U.S.Biden Issues Executive Order to Temporarily Close Border to Migrants

President Biden issued an executive order on Tuesday that prevents migrants from seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border when crossings surge, a dramatic election-year move to ease pressure on the immigration system and address a major concern among voters.

The measure is the most restrictive border policy instituted by Mr. Biden, or any other modern Democrat, and echoes an effort in 2018 by President Donald J. Trump to cut off migration that was blocked in federal court.

In remarks at the White House, Mr. Biden said he was forced to take executive action because Republicans had blocked bipartisan legislation that had some of the most significant border security restrictions Congress had considered in years.

“We must face a simple truth,” said the president, who was joined by a group of lawmakers and mayors from border communities. “To protect America as a land that welcomes immigrants, we must first secure the border and secure it now.”

Aware that the policy raised uncomfortable comparisons, Mr. Biden took pains to distinguish his actions from those of Mr. Trump. “We continue to work closely with our Mexican neighbors instead of attacking them,” Mr. Biden said. He said he would never refer to immigrants as “poisoning the blood” of the country, as Mr. Trump has done.

Still, the move shows how drastically the politics of immigration have shifted to the right in the United States. Polls suggest there is support in both parties for border measures once denounced by Democrats and championed by Mr. Trump as the number of people crossing into the country has reached record levels in recent years.

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