Arizona lawmakers respond to President Biden’s executive order on border security

Jun 4, 2024, 12:21 PM

PHOENIX — Arizona politicians had various opinions of President Joe Biden’s decision to issue an executive order on border security Tuesday.

“Today I’m announcing actions to bar migrants who cross our southern border unlawfully from receiving asylum,” Biden said during a press conference.

Specifically, the presidential proclamation Biden signed would bar migrants from being granted asylum when the U.S.-Mexico border is overwhelmed.

Certain numbers must be hit to bar the migrants, though. The order would go into effect when the number of border encounters between ports of entry hits 2,500 per day, according to the Associated Press.

Those restrictions would then be in effect until two weeks after daily encounter numbers fall to or below 1,500 per day between ports of entry. These numbers would be measured by a seven-day average.

Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, who was at the press conference, voiced his support of the executive order on border security.

“President Biden’s plan is a welcome action that will help address urgent needs at the border,” Kelly said in a press release shared with media outlets.

“In Arizona, where Border Patrol agents and nonprofits are often overwhelmed by daily migrant crossings, this new effort will support their crucial work and help relieve border communities from the burden of our broken immigration system,” Kelly added.

Congressional District 4 Rep. Greg Stanton, who was one of 14 Democrats across the country who urged Biden to use executive action, patted the president’s shoulder after the short press conference.

“This executive action will take immediate steps to reduce the burden on law enforcement, our under-resourced immigration system, nonprofits and border communities in Arizona,” Stanton said in a statement.

Other Arizona politicians weren’t happy with executive order on border security

Unlike his fellow Democrats Kelly and Stanton, District 7 Rep. Raúl Grijalva was unhappy with the president’s actions.

Grijalva said Biden’s executive order contradicts his promises to take a just and humane approach to immigration.

“I urge President Biden, instead, to use his authority to take concrete action to help fix our broken immigration system,” Grijalva said in a statement.

He then called for:

  • Sending more resources to communities along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • Expanding legal ways for migrants to obtain citizenship.
  • Improving and speeding up the asylum-seeking process.
  • Creating a pathway to citizenship for migrants.

“We must implement real solutions to solve the issues at the border which means listening to border communities and their needs and simplifying the process for asylum seekers to contribute to our nation,” Grijalva added.

Arizona Republican Paul Gosar, who represents CD-9, also responded negatively to the order. However, his reasons were different than Grijalva’s.

Gosar accused Biden of only protecting the border to win votes in the Nov. 5 general election.

“With five months before the election and polls showing Americans overwhelming disapprove of Biden’s open border policies, Biden’s latest politically motivated actions are too little, too late and do nothing to stop the asylum abuse,” Gosar said in a statement shared with media outlets.

He also said Biden’s executive action didn’t end catch-and-release. On top of that, Gosar said it won’t do anything to deport “13 million lawbreakers who have been welcomed into our country since Biden took office.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona lawmakers respond to President Biden’s executive order on border security