President Joe Biden‘s declaration that he is prepared to “shut down” the border if given new authorities by Congress underscores the shifting public sentiment on immigration as migrant crossings break new daily records.
The emerging border compromise being negotiated in the Senate represents a possible escape hatch to the crisis, allowing Biden to address the border, both in practice and rhetorically.
But opposition to that bill in the Republican-led House, plus the chamber’s efforts to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden’s secretary of homeland security, reflect a fraction of the pressure the president faces on an issue that could sink him electorally.
The other part of the equation is the progressive backlash if Biden goes too far in clamping down on the border crossings.
The reality of that circumstance is “slapping” Biden “in the face” following his original approach of “I’m