President Joe Biden was met with a wave of criticism from both the left and the right after announcing Tuesday an executive order that aims to clamp down on illegal immigration at the southern border.

In an announcement at the White House, Biden unveiled an executive order that aims to control the daily illegal crossings taking place at the U.S.-Mexico border. The presidential proclamation, which is expected to go into effect on Wednesday, follows 6 million southern border encounters during his presidency.

The order will temporarily suspend the entry of foreign nationals across the U.S.-Mexico border once the number of average border encounters exceeds 2,500 a day over a week time period, according to the White House. This will stay in effect until two weeks after there has been a seven-day average of fewer than 1,500 encounters along the southern border.

The order — which largely draws its authority under 212(f) and 215(a) from the Immigration and Nationality Act — will make it easier for Border Patrol agents and other Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials to quickly remove foreign nationals who have no legal basis to remain in the country.

However, the announcement was met with near universal criticism from immigration hawks who argued it would fail to properly address the crisis and immigration advocates who argued the order is dangerous for asylum seekers.

“This executive order is nothing more than [Biden] trying to fool the American people and hide the results of his disastrous immigration policies,” Joe Chester, communications manager for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Chester noted that the executive action still allows 1.8 million illegal crossings annually, provides exemptions to illegal immigrants crossing at ports of entry using the CBP One app, and does not apply to parolees or unaccompanied minors, among other “loopholes” that will allow exemptions for migrants.

“This executive order is nothing more than ‘smoke and mirrors’ to create Democrat talking points for the election on immigration and border enforcement,” John Fabbricatore, a retired Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field office director, said to the DCNF following the announcement. Fabbricorte argued the Biden administration could’ve issued such an executive order months ago “if this had been a serious effort,” but is doing so now because his polling is down.

James Massa, the CEO of NumbersUSA, also took umbrage with the “blanket waivers” allowed under the executive order, making mention of the fact that any alien who uses the CBP One app is excluded from its restrictions.

In addition to those who seek entry to the U.S. via ports of entry using the CBP One app and unaccompanied minors, those exempted from the executive order are victims of a “severe form” of trafficking and those who face immediate medical emergencies or imminent threats to their safety, according to the White House.

The proclamation is vaguely similar to legislation introduced by Oklahoma GOP Sen. James Lankford earlier this year. However, that bill was quickly shot down by Republicans in the House.

“This executive order does three things, none of which include securing the border,” Lora Ries, border and immigration director for the Heritage Foundation, said to the DCNF. “It: (1) allows Biden to claim he ‘did something’ regarding the border; (2) allows Biden to try to blame Congressional Republicans for legislative inaction (never mind that the House did its job by passing H.R. 2); and (3) whistles to the Administration’s ally leftist groups to sue the executive branch to halt implementation of this exception-riddled order.”

“Right on cue, the ACLU has already stated it will sue,” Ries continued. “I’d bet the Biden Admin gave advanced copies to these groups.”ter crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on January 07, 2024 in Eagle Pass, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — a liberal advocacy organization that became an ardent courtroom foe of the Trump administration’s immigration agenda — did make an immediate announcement on Tuesday, declaring that they would be suing the Biden White House to stop the order.

“We intend to challenge this order in court. It was illegal when Trump did it, and it is no less illegal now,” Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a Tuesday statement.

Other pro-migrant organizations were also unenthusiastic in their reaction. The American Immigration Lawyers Association, while not overtly critical in their statement, stressed the importance of providing a “fair and efficient process” for asylum applicants who arrive at the southern border, in a Tuesday announcement.

Between courtroom challenges and other factors, it’s yet to be seen how long this executive order will last. Tom Homan, who led ICE during the Trump administration, said he expects the order to go away as soon as the election is over.

“It’s terrible — it does nothing to stop catch and release, and it does nothing to stop child trafficking,” Homan said to the DCNF. “The most disgusting part of the whole thing is that it’s temporary and if [Biden] wins re-election, this thing will go away on day one. This is nothing but a political stunt to get him re-elected.”

The southern border crisis has raged on, proving to be a headache for the administration. Recent polls indicates illegal immigration is now a top concern for Americans and most voters believe former President Donald Trump would better handle the issue than the current occupant of the White House.

However, not everyone had critical reaction to the Tuesday announcement. The Migration Policy Institute, an organization focused on unbiased analysis of migration issues, said the order would likely have an effect on encounter numbers, at least in the short term.

“This executive order will make it harder to access asylum,” MPI spokeswoman Michelle Mittelstadt said to the DCNF. “Fewer people will pass credible fear interviews with the higher standards. This could also have a deterrence effect in the short term.”

“That said, the reality is that until Congress fully funds all elements of the border management enterprise – including the immigration courts and asylum processing functions at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, as well as ICE removal capacity – any administration is going to face very significant challenges at the border given the vast diversification of nationalities and the changed characteristics of arriving migrants,” Mittelstadt said.

The Biden administration did make a concerted effort to show that his proclamation wields some measure of support. This was demonstrated in the slate of border mayors who attended his Tuesday announcement.

Additionally, even mayors who were not at the event expressed support for the move.

“My office did not receive an invitation to the ceremony,” Sunland Park, Arizona Mayor Javier Perea said to the DCNF on Tuesday. “Regardless, I am glad someone is taking action to address the issue.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.

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