15 House Democrats call on Biden to take border executive action (2024)


By Hunter Woodall, Camilo Montoya-Galvez

/ CBS News

A group of House Democrats facing a tough campaign cycle has called on President Biden to take executive action on the United States' border with Mexico.

The legislators from Minnesota, Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Michigan, among other states, urged Biden in a letter first obtained by CBS News to "immediately take further action to restore order at the Southern border and fix our broken immigration system."

Mr. Biden has faced harsh criticism from Republicans and from some within his own party over his approach to immigration and the border ahead of November's general election. That dynamic is playing out as Mr. Biden runs against former President Donald Trump, his presumptive Republican challenger, for another term.

In April, CBS News polls of three presidential battleground states (Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) showed that a majority of likely voters view the U.S.-Mexico border as a major factor in their vote for president.

Angelo Fernández Hernández, a White House spokesperson, responded to the letter in an email, saying that "congressional Republicans chose to put partisan politics ahead of our national security, and rejected what border agents have said they need."

"We continue to call on Speaker Johnson and House Republicans to pass the bipartisan deal to secure the border," Hernández said, despite the clear opposition fromRepublican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson to the deal.

Yet the collapse of a bipartisan border deal in the Senate earlier this year provided Democrats an opportunity to counter long standing GOP attacks on the issue.

The new letter, led by Minnesota Democratic Rep. Angie Craig, points to the torpedoing of that deal by Republicans as a sign that Mr. Biden should take action of his own.

"It has become clear that the current situation remains untenable, but with Republicans playing politics on border security, it is time for your administration to act," the letter said. "We urge you to use all tools at your disposal, including executive action, to better address security at the Southern border, interdict illicit fentanyl and allow for orderly legal immigration."

Among the 15 Democratic House members who signed the Tuesday letter are Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who is running for an open Senate seat in Michigan, as well as Reps. Susan Wild and Matt Cartwright, two Democratic incumbents in the presidential battleground state of Pennsylvania. Fellow Reps. Susie Lee and Steven Horsford from the politically crucial state of Nevada also signed on to the letter.

The lawmakers note in their letter that "all of our constituents, no matter our congressional district, have felt the impacts of the current border situation."

Last week the House passed a Republican led measure that in part denounced "the Biden administration's open-borders policies," in a bipartisan 223 to 191 vote. Thirteen Democrats joined 210 Republicans in supporting the effort— including Craig and three members who also signed Tuesday's letter to Mr. Biden.

Similar GOP criticism also passed the House earlier this year with a small level of Democratic support. Most Democrats however have voted against those messaging efforts.

Democrats narrowly lost control of the House in the 2022 midterms, handing the chamber back to Republican leaders for the first time since early 2019. The narrow GOP majority however has struggled frequently since taking over. Democrats would only need to win a small number of seats to win control back in this fall's general elections and the border is likely to be an issue that plays an important role in House campaigns between now and Election Day.

Jack Pandol, the communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, responded to the letter by saying in an email that "extreme Democrats play Lucy with the football every election year - promising to lock down the border after opening the floodgates the year before."

"It's a pathetic charade that says more about Democrats' political freakout over their open borders policies than it does about their willingness to end the crisis." Pandol said.

Tuesday's letter is the latest demonstration of how the border and immigration in general can be a contentious issue as Mr. Biden looks to maintain enthusiasm from both centrist- minded Democrats and the more progressive- focused voters.

Over the past months, Mr. Biden has been considering taking executive action to reduce illegal border crossings, which soared to record levels last year. One of the moves being explored would involve the president restricting asylum by invoking an authority known as 212(f) that allows presidents to suspend the entry of foreigners when their arrival is deemed to be "detrimental" to U.S. interests. The administration, however, has yet to announce any new border measures.

The Biden administration recently announced a new regulation enabling a large number of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to enroll in the Affordable Care Act's health insurance.

During fundraisers in Texas in late March, Mr. Biden repeatedly accused Trump of bringing "chaos" to the border by spearheading a GOP effort in Congress to tank the bipartisan Senate border deal. Mr. Biden has also criticized Trump's inflammatory rhetoric on immigration, after the former president said undocumented migrants were "poisoning the blood of our country."

CBS News reporters Aaron Navarro and Kristin Brown contributed to this report.

  • Immigration
  • Joe Biden
  • Donald Trump
  • U.S.-Mexico Border
  • U.S. House of Representatives
  • Migrants
  • Democrats

Hunter Woodall

Hunter Woodall is a political editorial producer for CBS News. He covered the 2020 New Hampshire primary for The Associated Press and has also worked as a Kansas statehouse reporter for The Kansas City Star and the Washington correspondent for Minnesota's Star Tribune.

15 House Democrats call on Biden to take border executive action (2024)


15 House Democrats call on Biden to take border executive action? ›

The legislators from Minnesota, Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Michigan, among other states, urged Biden in a letter first obtained by CBS News to "immediately take further action to restore order at the Southern border and fix our broken immigration system."

How long has Biden been president? ›

Joe Biden's tenure as the 46th president of the United States began with his inauguration on January 20, 2021.

What political party is Joe Biden? ›

A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the 47th vice president from 2009 to 2017 under President Barack Obama and represented Delaware in the United States Senate from 1973 to 2009.

What is Joe Biden known for? ›

As Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 16 years, Biden is widely recognized for his work writing and spearheading the Violence Against Women Act — the landmark legislation that strengthens penalties for violence against women, creates unprecedented resources for survivors of assault, and ...

What did Biden do as vice president? ›

Vice President Biden has convened sessions of the President's Cabinet, led interagency efforts, and worked with Congress in his fight to raise the living standards of middle class Americans, reduce gun violence, address violence against women, and end cancer as we know it.

Who became president 3 times? ›

Roosevelt won a third term by defeating Republican nominee Wendell Willkie in the 1940 United States presidential election. He remains the only president to serve for more than two terms.

Who was the youngest president? ›

The youngest person to become U.S. president was Theodore Roosevelt, who, at age 42, succeeded to the office after the assassination of William McKinley.

What do Republicans believe in? ›

The positions of the Republican Party have evolved over time. Currently, the party's fiscal conservatism includes support for lower taxes, gun rights, government conservatism, free market capitalism, free trade, deregulation of corporations, and restrictions on labor unions.

How much is Trump worth? ›

Forbes has estimated his wealth for decades and estimates it at $7.7 billion as of May 2024, with Trump making much higher claims. Trump received gifts, loans, and inheritance from his father. His primary business has been real estate ventures, including hotels, casinos, and golf courses.

What do Democrats believe in? ›

From workers' rights to protecting the environment, equal pay to fighting the special interests, Democrats believe we can and should make life better for families across our nation. fairness, justice, and equality for all by standing up for all middle-class Americans and those struggling to get there.

What did Obama do for the country? ›

Obama signed many landmark bills into law during his first two years in office. The main reforms include: the Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as "the ACA" or "Obamacare", the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010.

How much money does Joe Biden have? ›

Biden's actual net worth is about $10 million, according to Forbes, which referred to him as “Middle-Class Joe” (though, in fairness, there's nothing “middle class” about being worth $10 million).

How many presidents served before Joe Biden? ›

By the numbers. There have been 46 presidencies (including the current president, Joe Biden, whose term began in 2021), and 45 people have served as president.

Has a Vice President ever been president? ›

Nine vice presidents have ascended to the presidency in this way: eight (John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester A. Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry S. Truman, and Lyndon B. Johnson) through the president's death and one (Gerald Ford) through the president's resignation.

How long is a presidential term? ›

Article II, Section 1, Clause 1: The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows. U.S. Const.

When was the last 3 term president? ›

Roosevelt began on March 4, 1933, when he was inaugurated as the 32nd president of the United States, and the second term of his presidency ended on January 20, 1941, with his inauguration to a third term.

How long was Obama president? ›

Barack Hussein Obama II (born August 4, 1961) is an American politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African-American president in United States history.

What are the 5 requirements to be president? ›

Constitutional requirements for presidential candidates
  • Be a natural-born citizen of the United States.
  • Be at least 35 years old.
  • Have been a resident of the United States for 14 years.
Feb 22, 2024

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