Biden was planning executive action on the border. Now he’s gone silent.

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A month ago, the White House was openly considering a string of executive actions to curb migration at the southern border. But no announcements were made. And now, immigration advocates who had been engaged with the Biden administration about the moves say they no longer appear imminent.

Administration officials are still weighing new actions, including restrictions on asylum, particularly as border crossings are expected to surge in line with seasonal migration patterns later this spring, according to three people familiar with the administration’s thinking.

But inside the White House, aides do not feel a sense of urgency like they did before, even as the issue of immigration remains a chief concern for voters.

The administration’s change in posture is owed, in part, to the downtick in migration numbers following a record-breaking number of illegal crossings in December. There remain questions about whether any action taken by the White House would pass legal muster. But while internal conversations around policy moves have continued, Biden aides also note that media coverage is less intense than it was earlier this year.

“They’re in that pretty classic mode of, nothing is on fire right now,” said an immigration policy advocate, granted anonymity to discuss private conversations about the administration’s border policy considerations.

The administration could still move forward unilaterally in the weeks or months ahead, a White House official said, adding that no specific action that was previously under consideration has been confirmed or ruled out. But the elongated time frame reflects a newfound belief that the president now has some space to deal with the matter.

The president’s team believes congressional Republicans’ rejection of a bipartisan border deal and the impeachment of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas allowed them to neutralize the political backlash Biden was facing and even reap some benefits in the polls. With border crossings down from their December highs, White House officials are keen on giving Biden’s recent border messaging blitz — that Republicans are using the issue for political gain — as much runway as possible.

“[Biden’s] just very confident in that messaging,” said a person familiar with the administration’s thinking, granted anonymity to discuss private conversations. “So I think they’re gonna keep trying to explain that to the public.”

Immigration remains a delicate issue for the president and a tinderbox politically, as it is expected that migration to the southern border will surge again as the weather warms. The border drew widespread attention once again this week, as hundreds of migrants breached a barrier set up by the Texas National Guard in El Paso.

Biden has called for tighter border security while blaming former President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans for killing the bipartisan border deal. And while he hasn’t taken the executive actions that seemed likely to come after the deal collapsed, Biden has continued to call on Congress to act.

“If we brought it up tomorrow, there’s enough Republicans and Democrats, an overwhelming number of Democrats and enough Republicans to make it become law,” Biden said during an interview with Univision Radio last week. “I’m going to continue to push for it.”

While the new spending package included an increase in detention capacity and funding for more border patrol agents and technology, there is no evidence that congressional Republicans are seriously interested in reengaging in talks around changes to immigration laws. And that, in turn, has left the White House weighing the merits of what, if any, actions they should take.

Any specific policy would be tricky to execute, not just because it could face legal challenges, but also because it will likely face steep backlash from progressives and the immigration advocacy community. Reports that the Biden administration was considering using the same statute the Trump administration employed to aggressively shape the immigration system quickly sparked weeks of pushback and even internal resistance.

There was also concern that the policy could be blocked by the courts. The Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel was reviewing the proposed executive order last month to see if it could sustain legal challenges, a roadblock that has reportedly frustrated the president.

Overshadowing it all is the election ahead. The administration has tried to tout tough border restrictions by coupling them with policies that might soften the blow for the immigration advocacy community and Democratic allies.

Like the Obama administration did in 2012 with the launch of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Biden administration officials are also examining whether there’s an action they could take for a different group of undocumented people who have long resided in the United States, according to the three people familiar with the administration’s planning. One idea that has been floated among administration officials is opening access to the cancellation of removal program for people who have lived in the U.S. for over 10 years and have citizen or resident relatives who would “suffer” if they were deported. If specific requirements are met and an immigration judge approves cancellation of removal, a migrant is able to obtain a green card.

Administration officials are also discussing ways they can further support state and local officials managing the influx of new arrivals, as Republican governors are expected to continue busing migrants to Democratic-led cities this year.

The delay in action from the administration has left some immigration advocates hopeful that the White House will ultimately abandon plans to curtail asylum altogether. But the expectation remains that the administration will charge ahead with efforts to crack down on the border once another surge complicates the picture for the president.

“I do think that in a heartbeat, if they felt like they needed to do something because of the images of too many people coming or whatever they were afraid of, they would do it,” said one of the people familiar with the administration’s planning.