In a statement supporting the Senate Border Act of 2024 (Border Act), President Joe Biden says it would give him authority to shut down the border when it is overwhelmed and give him the funding needed for an additional 1,300 border patrol agents, 375 immigration judges and 1,600 asylum officers.

He claims that the “House Republicans have to decide. Do they want to solve the problem? Or do they want to keep playing politics with the border?”

No. It’s the Democrats who are playing politics with the border.

The Border Act would not secure the border. Among other weaknesses, it fails to provide a solution to the most serious problem, which is that Biden has released so many asylum seekers into the country that our asylum system has broken.

One of its other weaknesses is the provision that gives authority to shut down the border, which wouldn’t kick in until the seven-day average number of cumulative encounters with inadmissible migrants is between 4,000 and 5,000 per day. And it would be discretionary unless the seven-day average is above 5,000 per day.

In other words, the administration would have the discretion to catch and release up to 5,000 inadmissible migrants per day — almost 2 million per year.

House Speaker Mike Johnson says that if Border Act reaches the House, it will be “dead on arrival.” It even is facing opposition from Senate Democrats, including Alex Padilla of California, who says the bill “misses the mark” and amounts to “dismantling” the asylum system.

This isn’t the first time Senate Democrats have enlisted the assistance of a few Senate Republicans to produce a so-called “bipartisan bill” that isn’t likely to get much Republican support and will be “dead on arrival” if it reaches the House.

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Published initially on The Hill.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years. Follow him at: