(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden’s new executive action on immigration sparked fresh criticism from Republicans.

Biden announced the actions on Tuesday to increase security at the southern border, but Republicans said it is too little too late and was only done to save face before November’s elections.

The White House said Biden’s plan would limit the number of border crossings for immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S.

U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, John Cornyn, R-Texas, Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and other GOP senators held a news conference Tuesday morning to respond to Biden’s executive order and the current border crisis.

The crisis on the border has been a prevalent issue during Biden’s presidency. Over 11 million immigrants have illegally crossed the border since January 2021, as The Center Square has previously reported.

Republicans compared the rise in issues caused by the U.S. having more open borders during Biden’s term to the border policies that former President Donald Trump implemented during his presidency.

Some of the Republican senators at Tuesday’s GOP press conference said that Biden deciding to take action to limit border crossings is an executive action that should have been enacted earlier on in his presidency.

“It’s a little late, isn’t it, Mr President?” said Sen. John Kennedy, R-La.

Other senators spoke on the issues created by having an open border. Kansas U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall said “this is now the number one defining issue in this election.”

Marshall said the Mexican drug cartels’ organized crime at the border is one of the safety issues caused by Biden’s lack of action on the border crisis.

Cruz referenced the high number of illegal border crossings as “the highest rate in the history of our nation.”

Cruz also referenced Bernardo Raul Castro-Mata, a 19-year old illegal immigrant who came to the U.S. illegally from Venezuela. Cruz explained how Mata allegedly shot two New York police officers this week after he had previously been detained and then later released in Texas after immigrating illegally.

Cruz and other senators said that Biden was only taking executive action to try and gain votes as it is an election year.

“What the White House is doing today is playing a political game,” Cruz said.

Cruz also slammed the high amount of illegal immigrants that are likely to continue to be allowed to immigrate into the U.S. due to Biden’s policies.

The Republican senators at this press conference emphasized the feeling that Biden’s executive order is an attempt to win over voters.

Cornyn called the Biden Administration’s executive action a “fig leaf” and a “political cover.”

Kennedy criticized Biden waiting to call an executive order until five months before the election and referenced Biden’s poor performance on recent polls. A poll from ABC News/Ipsos this past month shows how former President Donald Trump has a lead on the immigration issue by 17 points. He also leads on crime and safety by 8 points.

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