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Republican Senators Have No Plan to Stop Biden’s New Immigration Protections

GOP lawmakers said there’s little they can do to block President Joe Biden’s latest actions on immigration. “The real answer is win in November and reelect President Trump,” Sen. Ted Cruz said.

Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz and other Republicans said President Joe Biden’s latest immigration action was an abuse of power. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Republicans are furious about President Joe Biden’s latest executive action to protect certain undocumented immigrants, especially because, for now, they can’t do anything about it.

“The real answer is win in November and reelect President Trump and give us majorities in the Senate and House,” Sen. Ted Cruz told NOTUS.

The executive action announced on Tuesday opens a pathway to citizenship for undocumented spouses of American citizens who have been in the country for more than 10 years, making it easier for them to access work permits. It follows a previous action that limited the number of migrants who could claim asylum if border crossings reached certain thresholds.

Democrats were delighted by the second, chagrined by the first, and Republicans straight up hated both.

The move will certainly be challenged in court. Already, the conservative America First Legal Foundation, started by former Donald Trump adviser Stephen Miller, has pledged to challenge it.

“As innocent Americans are being beaten, raped, and murdered by Biden illegals, Crooked Joe Biden isn’t taking action to stop this invasion or remove violent predators from our country,” the Trump campaign said in a statement Tuesday. “Instead, Biden is granting mass amnesty, and offering a pathway to citizenship for illegals.”

But as far as Congress, there doesn’t seem to be much to do besides tweet.

Even the senators famous for their high jinks and filibusters to stop policies — some of whom took a leading role in killing the bipartisan immigration reform bill earlier this year — didn’t have many ideas.

Cruz said the action was “an absolute abuse of power” but that “the Senate will do nothing” because of Democratic leadership.

Sen. Thom Tillis lamented that there’s “not really” anything senators can do to stop Biden’s action.

When Sen. Ron Johnson was asked what senators could do, he said, “It’s called November.”

“Unfortunately, we have to wait that long because, again, Biden wants an open border,” he said. “Hopefully, the American people reject it.”

Sen. Marco Rubio shared a similar sentiment, despite once being part of the legendary “gang of eight,” one of the last serious attempts in Congress to reform the immigration system in 2013.

“The only thing we can do is elect Trump as president,” he said.

When he was part of immigration reform, measures to allow undocumented immigrants already in the country were a part of that bill, but Rubio said things are different now.

“The world is different. The entire issue is different.”

Casey Murray is a NOTUS reporter and an Allbritton Journalism Institute fellow.