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President Biden is considering a border crackdown. Here's how it could affect New York's congressional races.

Potential border crackdown could affect New York congressional races
Potential border crackdown could affect New York congressional races 02:03

NEW YORK -- President Joe Biden is considering signing an executive order to stage a border crackdown ahead of the 2024 election.

CBS New York political reporter Marcia Kramer says it could also affect New York congressional races as Democrats try to unseat Republicans on Long Island and upstate.

The tens of thousands of asylum seekers arriving here in New York -- nearly 179,000 and counting -- are the most visible sign of a political problem that, according to experts like Basil Smikle, could cost Biden re-election.

Since he couldn't get Congress to act, the president is now weighing whether to use his executive powers to turn away migrants seeking to enter the country. Experts say it could prove critical to his re-election.

"It may not take immigration off the table, but it does neutralize Republicans' ability to use it as a hammer against Democrats quite significantly," Smikle said.

As the president ponders whether to pull the trigger -- setting tough new entry criteria and deporting those who don't meet the new standards -- it's probably not lost on him that Democrat Tom Suozzi was able to flip a Long Island House seat last week in part by calling for the president to take action to close the border.

Gov. Kathy Hochul pointed to the Suozzi win as she urged the president to sign the executive order.

"I'm glad he's doing it. I don't know the details yet, but yes, we have to look at the conditions that were being used for asylum now because they're more expansive than they have been in the past," Hochul said.

Experts also say that if Biden acts, it could also help Democrats take control of the House and could prove a potent weapon against freshmen Republicans on Long Island and upstate.

Mike Lawler -- who represents parts of Rockland, Dutchess, Westchester and Putnam counties -- is one of the Republicans with a target on his back

"I'm not too concerned about the impact on my district or my race. I'm more concerned about the impact on our country ... So if President Biden is finally acknowledging that these policies are not working and is willing to take executive action, great," he said.

The president is expected to make a decision on issuing the executive order within two weeks.

The 1952 law Biden is considering was also used by then-President Donald Trump to ban immigration and travel from certain countries, most of them predominantly Muslim.

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