Considering the fact that Trump has exploited his immigration authorities, the White House is considering taking executive steps on the border.

Washington (AP)— Three people familiar with the discussions say the White House is considering invoking federal immigration statute regularly used by former President Donald Trump to unilaterally clamp down at the southern border.

Several officials and those in the know said that the administration has been considering measures that President Joe Biden may implement unilaterally, without the need for legislative approval, in response to Republican legislators' rejection of a negotiated border package earlier this month.

However, nothing is decided yet, and it is not apparent how the administration would word any such executive moves to ensure they would withstand the inevitability of legal challenges. On the condition of anonymity, the officials and individuals involved with the conversations spoke to The Associated Press about continuing secret discussions at the White House.

It is important to note that the investigation of such options by Biden's staff highlights the strain that the president is facing during this election year about immigration and the border, which have been among his most significant political liabilities ever since he arrived in office.

While the president and his administration have been scolding Republicans in Congress for not passing border legislation, they are also trying to come up with a solution that Biden can implement on his own to avoid the political dangers that high migrant numbers could bring to the president.

"No amount of aggressive executive action can bring about the substantial policy reforms and additional resources that Congress can offer and which Republicans rejected," stated White House spokeswoman Angelo Fernández Hernández.

“The administration spent months negotiating in good faith to deliver the toughest and fairest bipartisan border security bill in decades because we need Congress to make significant policy reforms and provide additional funding to secure our border and fix our broken immigration system,” he said. “Congressional Republicans put partisan politics ahead of our national security, rejected what border agents need, and took a two-week vacation.”

After reaching a record high in December, the number of arrests for unauthorized crossings of the U.S. border with Mexico dropped by half in January, making it the third lowest month of Biden's administration. A resurgence of such numbers is something that authorities are worried about, especially with the presidential election in November quickly approaching.

Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act lays out the immigration authority the current administration is considering. This section grants the president wide discretion to deny entry to certain immigrants if doing so would be "detrimental" to the United States' national interest.

Trump, who is the most probable contender for the Republican nomination to challenge Biden in the upcoming election, has relied on the 212(f) power on several occasions while he was in office. One example of this is his controversial ban on travelers from countries with a predominantly Muslim population. During his first day in office, Vice President Biden issued an executive order that overturned the ban.

However, how Biden would use that ability to address his immigration issues is being studied, and it could be utilized in several ways, according to sources. The prohibition might apply when border crossings reach a specific amount. That mirrors the Senate border accord, which would have expelled migrants if unlawful border crossings exceeded 5,000 per day for five days.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., also wants Biden to invoke 212(f). However, the sweeping immigration change Biden announced on his first day in office, which the White House continues to laud, would limit a president's ability to ban immigrants.

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