WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — The White House is considering using provisions of federal immigration law to enact a sweeping crackdown at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to three people familiar with the deliberations.

The administration, facing opposition from Republican lawmakers over a negotiated border bill earlier this month, has been exploring options that President Joe Biden could take without congressional approval, multiple officials and others familiar with the talks said.

But the plans are nowhere near finalized and it’s unclear how the administration would draft any such executive actions in a way that would survive the inevitable legal challenges. The officials and those familiar with the talks spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to comment on private ongoing White House discussions.

For now, the White House has been hammering congressional Republicans for refusing to act on border legislation that the GOP demanded.

White House spokesperson Angelo Fernández Hernández stressed that “no executive action, no matter how aggressive, can deliver the significant policy reforms and additional resources Congress can provide and that Republicans rejected.”

Arrests for illegal crossings on the U.S. border with Mexico fell by half in January from record highs in December to the third lowest month of Biden’s presidency. But officials are concerned that those figures could rise again later this year.

The immigration authority the administration has been looking into is outlined in Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which gives a president broad leeway to block entry of certain immigrants into the United States if it would be “detrimental” to the national interest of the United States.

Former president Donald Trump, who is the likely GOP candidate to face off against Biden this fall, repeatedly leaned on the 212(f) power while in office.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has also called on Biden to use the 212(f) authority.

Yet the comprehensive immigration overhaul Biden also introduced on his first day in office — which the White House continues to tout — includes provisions that effectively scales back a president’s powers to bar immigrants under that authority.

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