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Biden considering executive action to close southern border

In an interview with Univision, President Joe Biden confirmed the White House is considering the legality of executive action to fully close the southern border, and commented on a request from the president of Mexico for the United States to fund a multi-billion dollar jobs program for Latin America.

In the interview, Biden expressed his displeasure over the failure of the U.S. Senate bipartisan border security legislation that came under heavy criticism from conservatives and Biden’s GOP challenger, former President Donald Trump.

Biden noted the legislation would have certainly given the White House full authority to close the southern border and end the border crisis, but that authority would only activate after 5,000 illegal aliens enter the country on any given day.

Critics said that the loophole simply watered down existing authority wielded by the president, adding that right now he simply chooses not to use it.

Faced with dwindling poll numbers, including overwhelming disapproval of his handling at the southern border, Biden’s comment considering action represents an about-face by the White House, a reaction in apparent response to regain popular support ahead of the election.

“There's no, there's no guarantee that I have that power (to close the border) all by myself without legislation. And some have suggested I should just go ahead and try it. And if I get shut down by the court, I get shut down by the court. But we're trying to work that, work through that right now,” Biden said.

The president also recently requested assistance from Mexico in stemming the flow of illegal immigration northward. That request was met with a counter-demand by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

López Obrador has demanded the United States give Latin American and Caribbean countries $20 billion to fund local jobs programs, grant work visas to 10 million Mexican nationals, and end economic blockades and sanctions against Venezuela and Cuba.

Biden said he supported the idea, explaining how people who pay human smugglers to bring them to the U.S. under horrific conditions do not do so because they want to, but because they have no choice at home.

“Look, it's not like people are sitting around a table, a hand-hewn table somewhere in Guatemala, and saying, I've got a great idea. Let's sell everything we have, give it to a criminal gang. They're going to take us across the border. They're going to drop us on the other side with language you don't speak, where they don't want me. Won't that be fun? People don't… they leave because they have no alternatives,” Biden told Univision.

He added that he was part of a spearheading similar program in prior years and that he would support a renewed program, but stopped short of discussing lifting economic sanctions.

Over 137,000 people illegally entered the United States in March, not including those who escaped detection or apprehension by Customs and Border Protection, and that number is down from the prior month’s number of 187,000.

As millions of people from around the world continue to pour into the United States fueling the crisis at the southern border, it remains to be seen whether tanking poll numbers will motivate the administration to take significant action to address the crisis ahead of the November election.

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