Tester Calls Biden Executive Action ‘Long Overdue,’ Continues to Press President to Take Additional Steps to Secure Southern Border

President’s action comes after repeated pressure from Tester to use all remaining tools at his disposal to secure the southern border

Following repeated pressure from U.S. Senator Jon Tester, President Biden announced today that he will sign an executive order that will shut down the southern border when overwhelmed.

Tester repeatedly expressed to President Biden that he must “use all of the remaining tools” at his disposal to secure our borders and called on his Administration to “take action immediately” to raise asylum standards and get the border crisis under control.

“What’s happening at the southern border is unacceptable, which is why I’ve repeatedly pushed back on the Administration’s failed border policies and called on the President to take immediate action to get the crisis under control,” said Tester. “Today’s announcement is long overdue, and I’m glad the President is using his authority to shut down the border. I will continue to hold this Administration accountable and press for additional actions to secure our border and keep Montana safe.”

Tester has a longstanding track-record of standing up to President Biden on the southern border.

Tester repeatedly opposed President Biden’s efforts to end Title 42 without a comprehensive plan in place. In May of 2023, Tester backed bipartisan legislation that would allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to maintain a similar authority to that it used under Title 42 to immediately expel certain migrants who attempt to enter the U.S. or illegally cross the border. Tester also introduced legislation in both February of 2023 and April of 2022 to require DHS to implement a proper plan before lifting Title 42. Additionally, Tester relayed his concerns to DHS Secretary Mayorkas multiple times about allowing Title 42 to expire.

Last month, Tester again voted for bipartisan legislation to secure the southern border. The bipartisan border security bill received the endorsement of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) and the Director of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), who have said that the bill “would provide the strongest set of tools we have had in decades” and “codify into law authorities that U.S. Border Patrol agents never had in the past.” 

After politicians blocked the bipartisan border security bill in Congress, Tester called on Secretary Mayorkas and President Biden to do more and “use all of the remaining tools at your disposal” to secure our borders and to “take action immediately.” Tester has sharply criticized the Administration’s failed border policies during multiple Senate committee hearings, telling both Secretary Mayorkas and Secretary Austin to “step up” and do more to keep our country safe.

Tester also broke with his party in May and cosponsored the Laken Riley Act after hearing from Montana law enforcement. This legislation would require ICE to apprehend and detain illegal immigrants who commit certain crimes, including theft, burglary, larceny, or shoplifting offenses.