Biden prepares a tough executive order that would shut down asylum after 2,500 migrants arrive a day

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is telling lawmakers that President Joe Biden is preparing to sign off on an executive order that would shut down asylum requests to the U.S.-Mexico border once the number of daily encounters hits 2,500 between ports of entry, with the border reopening once that number declines to 1,500, according to several people familiar with the discussions.

The impact of the 2,500 figure means that the border could be closed to migrants seeking asylum effectively immediately, because daily figures are higher than that now.

The Democratic president is expected to unveil his actions — which mark his most aggressive unilateral move yet to control the numbers at the border — at the White House on Tuesday at an event to which border mayors have been invited.

Five people familiar with the discussions confirmed the 2,500 figure on Monday, while two of the people confirmed the 1,500 number. The figures are daily averages over the course of a week. All of the people insisted on anonymity to discuss an executive order that is not yet public. Other border activity, such as trade, is expected to continue.

Senior White House officials have been informing lawmakers on Capitol Hill of details of the planned order ahead of the formal rollout on Tuesday.

Biden has been deliberating for months to act on his own after bipartisan legislation to clamp down on asylum at the border collapsed at the behest of Republicans, who defected from the deal en masse at the urging of Donald Trump, the former president and presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Biden continued to consider executive action even though the number of illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border has declined for months, partly because of a stepped-up effort by Mexico.

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