Authored by Tom Ozimek via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
President Joe Biden’s call for a bipartisan Senate deal to tackle the border crisis drew criticism from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who said the president was overlooking—or refusing to see—simple fixes that don’t require new laws to address the problem.
On Friday, President Biden posted a statement on X calling for Congress to pass legislation giving him new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed.
“If given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law,” the president insisted while reiterating his call for Congress to approve more money for border security.
“If you’re serious about the border crisis, pass a bipartisan bill, and I will sign it,” he said.
Mr. Musk, who recently argued that the Biden administration was “actively aiding illegal immigration” by suing Arizona and Texas to block state-level efforts to secure the border, posted a critical take on President Biden’s insistence on the deal.
“No laws need to be passed. All that is needed is an executive order to require proof before granting an asylum hearing. That is how it used to be,” Mr. Musk said in his post.
A flurry of other reactions to President Biden’s message featured some supportive messages—but also many critical takes.
The latter included calls for restoring the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy that required asylum-seekers to wait south of the border until their claims were processed. This policy has been credited with having a meaningful reduction of illegal crossings.
The Biden administration moved to suspend “Remain in Mexico” on the president’s first day in the White House in January 2021.
Meanwhile, a purported leaked draft of the deal being pushed by President Biden prompted House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to remark it would be “dead on arrival” in the lower chamber.
Former President Donald Trump recently urged Republicans to reject anything but a “perfect” deal on border security.
No details are known about the contents of the deal, but it reportedly includes funding for Ukraine and Israel amid ongoing military conflicts.
President Biden’s push for the deal comes as illegal border crossings in December shattered previous records.
Record-Breaking Border Surge
There were a stunning 371,036 encounters in December, new data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) show, breaking the previous record of 341,392 set in August 2023.
Encounters along the southwest land border also set a new record, hitting 302,034, per other data released by CBP on Jan. 26
The record-breaking numbers come amid House Republican efforts to impeach Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for his handling of the illegal immigration crisis.
Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) is expected to introduce articles of impeachment against Mr. Mayorkas next week.
“Secretary Mayorkas has outdone himself yet again—never have we seen such catastrophic numbers, even with historically high encounter numbers on his watch,” Mr. Green said in a statement. “December’s numbers serve as more undeniable proof that Secretary Mayorkas must be impeached.”
Mr. Green said that the record-high numbers are not only a “disaster,” but he alleged they are intentional.
“This staggering number of encounters at our borders only happens by design and a willful refusal to comply with the laws passed by Congress,” Mr. Green said, accusing the DHS chief of having “intentionally opened our borders.”
Mr. Green, like many of his fellow Republicans, has accused the Biden administration of relaxing border policies and flinging open the door to a sharp influx of illegal aliens.
Biden administration officials have rejected such allegations, claiming they’re doing all they can to stem the influx and variously blaming factors like seasonal fluctuations, a broken immigration system—even climate change.
Voters, meanwhile, have grown increasingly concerned about the border crisis, with a recent poll showing that immigration has become the top concern, shunting inflation into second spot.
President Biden, whose approval on immigration sank to 35 percent in the poll, recently admitted that the border is not secure—although he denied his policies have had anything to do with it.
Mr. Mayorkas recently pinned the blame for the influx on Congress, or rather its failure to make legislative changes and provide more money for border security.