Joe Biden in front of US-Mexican border in Arizona

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‘Didn’t age well’: Biden’s old immigration tweet blasting Trump resurfaces after new asylum order

It’s the opposite of what he ran on.


Marlon Ettinger


A tweet President Joe Biden made back in December 2019 while running for the White House is resurfacing after he signed an executive order on Tuesday barring migrants who cross the border illegally from claiming asylum.

The move drew backlash from online progressives who pointed out that it was a clear reversal of what Biden had campaigned on, running in opposition to former President Donald Trump’s “draconian” border policies.

“We must take urgent action to end Donald Trump’s draconian immigration policies,” Biden wrote in the tweet, laying out a first hundred days agenda which included reversing Trump’s own moves against asylum seekers, ending wall-building efforts, and reversing Trump’s Muslim ban.

The Biden administration had applied a broader and more open interpretation of asylum claims based on domestic violence and gang-related threats starting in 2021, a reversal of a 2018 change by Trump narrowing asylum claims on that basis.

Biden’s new executive order says that the president believes “we must secure our border” and its key provision blocks noncitizens from claiming asylum if they cross the border illegally “when the Southern border is overwhelmed.”  

The order notes that the actions are “not permanent,” and will end “when the number of migrants who cross the border … is low enough for America’s system to safely and effectively manage border operations,” but doesn’t clarify what that means.

“This didn’t age well, just like every promise he made while he was campaigning for POTUS,” posted @iii_rame in a quote tweet of the 2019 statement by Biden.

“You have reinstated the asylum laws and continued to build the wall. Your words are nothing to the American people,” added @mcbarry450.

Construction of a wall on the Mexican border under the Biden administration has been ongoing since 2021, despite Democrats’ vociferous objection to Trump’s plan when he took office.

In 2023, the administration went forward with building more of the wall based on appropriations Congress made in 2019.

Biden’s move on enforcing the border comes in reaction to an uptick in crossings in the past year, which Republicans have been politicking on as an unprecedented border crisis. 

Biden and Democratic allies pushed a tough border bill, which didn’t make it through Congress. Biden has claimed that Republicans are refusing to address the problem because of political calculations, making the executive order necessary.

Those moves led progressives to condemn Biden for adopting policies he once claimed to oppose when Trump pushed them.

“I’m deeply disappointed by President Biden’s executive order gutting asylum laws. This will be one of the most restrictive border policies in modern history,” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said in a statement posted on X. “We condemned Trump for this; we must call out Biden too.”

“2020: Open borders! No more kids in cages! 2024: Open borders? No! More kids in cages!” riffed @Chamillionsoc, referencing a popular “Simpsons” meme. 

Other posters riffed on the similarity between Trump and Biden’s policies with memes.

“I’ll write the theory/And I’ll do the Praxis,” reads one meme with a split photo of Trump and Bidens’ faces.

Another poster summed up the two presidents’ policies as “Shut down asylum and deport everyone,” with the only difference in Biden’s outlook being a heart and rainbow flag emoji.

Others called out Biden for hypocrisy in promoting a border policy similar to Trump’s while still putting out a statement in support of Immigrant Heritage Month earlier in the week.

“To celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month, Biden today issued an executive order that violates international asylum laws,” posted @scapelliti in a quote tweet to Biden’s Immigrant Heritage Month statement from Sunday. “Get this xenophobe out of the White House.”

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