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LANGUAGE

‘Why should he have to do it?’

WASHINGTON — WHY he Do I have to do that?

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre offered a surprising defense Wednesday of President Biden’s more than three-year refusal to use executive power to address the U.S.-Mexico border crisis after a reporter asked “why is he not doing anything?”

“Why should he do it unilaterally?” Jean-Pierre responded, justifying Biden’s inaction so far as he ultimately considers using executive power to restrict the entry of asylum seekers into the US illegally.

The 81-year-old presidential spokesperson added, “Why not do it through a legislative method?”

The defense was quickly ridiculed online, with former President Donald Trump’s longtime adviser Jason Miller Tweet“KJP’s 3-D Chess is here.”

“There’s no chance [fellow White House spokesman John] “Kirby would have been wise enough to shift the blame onto someone else and act as if Joe Biden is not the sitting president of the United States,” Miller added, adding that Kirby and Jean-Pierre had allegedly been in a relationship. He downplayed the tensions in the relationship. “That’s why KJP will stay on as press secretary!”

President Biden is considering issuing an executive order to close the U.S.-Mexico border if more than 4,000 migrants cross the border in a day, sources told The Washington Post. However, President Jean-Pierre did not respond to a shouted question on Wednesday about the status of this pending measure.

Biden would have been given that authority if Congress’ border package failed, but Republican opponents have argued that Biden already had that authority, and administration lawyers now apparently agree, though it’s unclear exactly when.

The border crisis exploded in 2021, President Biden’s first year in office, when he used executive power to unilaterally end Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required most asylum seekers to remain south of the border while their claims of persecution were reviewed by U.S. immigration courts.

Biden also halted construction of Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall, offered amnesty to most illegal immigrants already in the U.S. and began allowing most people who crossed the border illegally into the interior, providing them with government-issued smartphones and paperwork that would allow them to obtain work permits after an initial six-month waiting period.

Court proceedings have stalled, meaning some immigrants with questionable asylum claims could remain in the U.S. for years with work authorization, and at one point last year, New York City cut back on pre-court check-ins. Reservations are now “full” until the end of 2032.

This initial appointment would be followed by many more years of delay before any actual decisions were made.

The surge in migrants has strained state and local governments, with New York City cutting city services to help pay for food and housing for recent arrivals.

Here’s what Biden could potentially do to crack down on the border: Poll Show Ahead of his rematch with President Trump on Nov. 5, he said immigration is one of his biggest debts.

In fiscal year 2023, which ended Sept. 30, 2.5 million illegal immigrants were apprehended crossing the southern border, a record high, and in December the number hit a record high of nearly 302,000 per month.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who was impeached by House Republicans in February for failing to protect the border, said in January that more than 85% of people detained for crossing the border illegally have been released to the United States. He said.

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