It is the lowest level of illegal crossings since Biden took office, Biden administration added. AFP

In the three weeks since President Joe Biden announced sweeping restrictions on asylum claims, the number of migrants crossing the U.S. southern border unlawfully has dropped by more than 40 percent, administration officials said Wednesday.

The latest Department of Homeland Security report found that U.S. agents have taken, in average, fewer than 2,400 migrants into custody per day over the past week, down from more than 3,800 at the beginning of June.

That is the lowest level of illegal crossings since Biden took office, DHS added. It is also below the threshold set by the administration in the executive order, which would catalyze much tougher rules for admitting asylum-seekers into the country.

The shift was clear Tuesday in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, which has been one of the border's busiest migration corridors for the past decade, according to a Washington Post article.

The Biden campaign hopes those numbers can mitigate Republican criticism of the president's border record as he prepares to face off in a debate Thursday with presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.

Polls consistently show high disapproval ratings for Biden's handling of border security and immigration issues, and Texas is no exemption.

Only 26 percent of Texas voters approve of the way Biden is handling immigration and border security, the most important issues facing the state, according to a new poll released last week by the University of Texas. By contrast, 54% disapprove of the Democratic administration's handling of the issue, a share that varies significantly across demographic groups.

Moreover, an Equis poll released last week showed that more Latinos trust Trump over Biden when it comes to handling immigration at the border, with the figure being 41% to 38%. The numbers may not show much difference between the main candidates, but it's news for the United States' political scenario, which is marked by a historical preference for the Democratic Party on the issue by Latinos.

"Democrats no longer hold advantage among Latino voters when it comes to handling immigration," the poll concludes.

How important is this issue to tip the scale in November elections within Texas? The poll found that state voters ranked inflation as the most important problem facing the country, with 18% of those in the poll showing that concern. However, border security was identified by voters as the most important issue facing Texas today, followed closely by immigration.

Meanwhile, a coalition of immigrant advocacy groups has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over Biden's recent executive order. The lawsuit, led by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of several organizations, contests the legality of Biden's move, insisting that it is similar to an action taken by the Trump administration that was previously blocked by the courts.

"We were left with no alternative but to sue. The administration lacks unilateral authority to override Congress and bar asylum based on how one enters the country, a point the courts made crystal clear when the Trump administration unsuccessfully tried a near-identical ban," said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project.

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