Biden weighs new executive action to limit asylum at the border

An aerial view shows an immigrant group trying to cross the Texan border despite heightened security measures in Eagle Pass, Texas on February 03, 2024. (Photo by Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu via Getty Images)

The Biden administration is looking into using provisions of the federal immigration law to limit illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

After Republicans blocked a bipartisan border bill, the administration is looking into options President Joe Biden can use without congressional approval.

Plans are unclear at this time because the Biden administration would have to determine how to draft the executive action. 

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Biden is considering an option detailed in Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. 

Under this rule, a president has wiggle room to block entry of certain immigrants into the United States if it would be "detrimental" to the national interest of the United States, according to the Associated Press. 

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Former President Donald Trump used the 212(f) power while in office, including his ban for travelers from Muslim-majority nations. Biden later dropped that ban on his first day in office through an executive order.

The challenge for Biden is figuring out how he would use that power under the act. 

Citing sources familiar with the talks, the AP noted that the ban could start when southern border crossings reach a specific number, a similar requirement of the Senate border deal that would have initiated the removal of migrants if the number of illegal border crossings reached more than 5,000 each day for a five-day average.

RELATED: Biden admin can limit immigration arrests, Supreme Court rules

Arrests for illegal crossings on the U.S. border with Mexico dipped in January from record highs in December to the third-lowest month of Biden’s presidency, according to the AP. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  This story was reported from Washington, D.C.