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Nevada leaders react to Biden’s border policy

President Joe Biden is taking heat from Nevada Republicans and advocates — though for different reasons — and praise from some of Nevada’s Democratic leaders following his announcement on a new policy limiting asylum at the southern border.

The president issued executive actions on Tuesday that will tighten security on the country’s southern border and temporarily shut down the border to asylum seekers attempting to cross the border during surges.

It allows him to suspend asylum claims in between ports of entry when there is an average of 2,500 crossings a day over a seven-day period. The ban will remain in place until the number of people trying to enter illegally is reduced.

Biden’s executive order, seen by critics as a political move ahead of the election to improve his standing on the border, was attacked by Republicans who say the action is too little too late. It is drawing opposition from immigration advocacy groups who say the policy is fear-mongering, but it is winning praise from many of Nevada’s Democratic leaders.

Biden said Tuesday he was forced to take executive action after Republicans blocked bipartisan legislation that included increased border security restrictions.

“Doing nothing is not an option,” Biden said Tuesday. “We have to act. We must act consistent with both our law and our values — our value as Americans.”

Nevada Republicans’ response

Rep. Mark Amodei, Nevada’s sole Republican federal official, said in a statement there is nothing strong or meaningful about the action. He cited high numbers of border crossings and people who got away from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

“These alarming numbers are a direct result of Joe Biden’s open border policies, and this executive order is nothing more than a political stunt,” Amodei said in a statement.

Gov. Joe Lombardo called Biden’s actions a “faux border crackdown” that is “nothing more than a desperate campaign makeover, designed for the single goal of helping him fix historically low poll numbers.”

“America has a serious national security, fentanyl, and human trafficking crisis at the border, and it will require a serious, bipartisan border security plan to fix it — not political theater in an election year,” Lombardo said in a statement.

Democratic reps response

Nevada’s Democratic members of Congress called for more long-term solutions through legislation from Congress. Rep. Susie Lee, who previously joined other Nevada members of Congress in calling on Biden to take executive action on the border, said in a statement legislation through Congress still remains the most effective way to have long-term solutions and funding that would win against legal challenges.

Rep. Steven Horsford called Biden’s actions an “essential step to protect our border,” but added “we must have a balanced approach to future immigration policy, which requires Congressional action.”

Democratic Rep. Dina Titus shared similar sentiments, saying Biden took the steps to address the situation at the border after House Republicans’ refused to come to the negotiating table.

“As I’ve said before, we need commonsense, bipartisan immigration reform to address these longstanding challenges,” Titus said on X.

Progressive groups’ concerns

Progressive groups and immigration advocates criticized Biden’s order.

Laura Martin, executive director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, said the White House must take a balanced approach and take action to protect recipients ofDeferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

“We can’t just continue a legacy of inaction for undocumented immigrants and mixed status families,” Martin said in a statement. “Our families deserve work permits, not fear-mongering and victim blaming.”

The American Civil Liberties Union said on Tuesday it planned to sue the Biden administration over the executive actions, arguing the plan will put thousands of lives at risk.

Biden said he believes immigration has always been a lifeblood of America, and that the Statue of Liberty stands for who we are as the United States.

“But we must face a simple truth: To protect America as a land that welcomes immigrants, we must first secure the border and secure it now,” Biden said.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on X.

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