Governor Abbott Calls Biden’s Asylum Plan ‘Feckless’ in Face of Soaring Border Crossings

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has lambasted President Joe Biden’s new asylum proposals, asserting they “do nothing to slow the record-breaking illegal immigration.”

Biden’s plan, revealed Thursday, aims to expedite asylum processing for specific groups, including those with prior criminal convictions. Under the proposals, asylum officers would have the authority to determine at initial screenings whether migrants are ineligible for asylum, bypassing potentially lengthy judicial processes.

The issue of irregular immigration has taken center stage in U.S. politics, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection reporting 9.8 million migrant encounters between October 2019 and January 2024. Governor Abbott, on April 12, cited 507,200 detentions of suspected illegal entrants in Texas since 2021, when he initiated Operation Lone Star to combat illegal crossings.

On Twitter (formerly X), Abbott dismissed Biden’s asylum reforms as ineffective and issued a direct challenge to the president: “Follow Texas’ lead—or get out of the way.”

In a detailed statement, Abbott criticized Biden’s approach, stating, “President Biden’s feckless proposals, which he could have implemented years ago, do nothing to slow the record-breaking illegal immigration. Most notably, President Biden sidesteps actually enforcing the laws already enacted by Congress.”

Abbott accused the Biden administration of hindering Operation Lone Star, which has involved Texas National Guard soldiers installing razor wire and buoy barriers along the border with Mexico.

“Texas is building a border wall, installing hundreds of miles of razor wire and buoy barriers, and deploying thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and Department of Public Safety troopers,” Abbott asserted. “Our efforts have led to a substantial decline in illegal immigration into Texas while it remains on the rise in other border states.”

The clash over immigration between the Biden administration and Governor Abbott has intensified in recent months, marked by legal battles over border security measures.

Following a Supreme Court ruling in January allowing removal of razor wire from the Texas-Mexico border, Abbott denounced what he characterized as an “invasion” of his state and invoked its “constitutional authority to defend and protect itself.”

A joint statement from 25 Republican governors supported Abbott’s stance, and former President Donald Trump urged GOP-controlled states to send National Guard troops to assist Texas with border control.

An exclusive Newsweek survey conducted in April found that only 20 percent of eligible U.S. voters believed the country had “control over its borders,” a notable decline from 34 percent in August 2023.