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Brownsville Mayor John Cowen and Edinburg Mayor Ramiro Garza were in our nation’s capital on Tuesday to hear President Joe Biden announce new restrictions on people trying to immigrate into this country. In essence, the mayors witnessed the president concede defeat on border issues — and possibly hand the November election to Donald Trump.

Biden announced the immediate imposition of restrictions on people seeking asylum into this country. His directive stops their entry if more than 2,500 migrants arrive at our ports of entry per day — a threshold that already is being exceeded — and doesn’t allow new entries until those daily arrivals have been below 1,500 for two weeks.

It’s a strategy that Trump imposed during his administration, and that was successfully challenged in court. The American Civil Liberties Union already has announced plans to sue the current administration, and we can expect the same result.

As a political strategy, this couldn’t be worse. If he’s trying to save a reelection campaign that’s being hammered on its ineffective border policy, he can forget it. Trump owns the issue, and Biden won’t win any political points — especially by coopting Trump’s policies after years of condemning them. It only sends a clear message that Biden doesn’t have any ideas of his own.

Moreover, immigration shouldn’t be a numbers game — especially asylum, which is governed not only by our own laws, but by international law. Many people who seek refuge here have valid reasons to fear returning to their countries, and it’s unconscionable to think that a person was returned to possible death simply because they were the 2,501st person to get to our border on a given day.

White House officials say people with such claims will still be screened and accepted if those claims are credible, although the standards have been raised to levels many people consider unjust.

To be sure, Biden is correct in pointing much of the blame for our border mess at Congress. Enacting laws is Congress’ job, not the president’s. However, the administration handles the implementation, and it now is so inefficient, convoluted and understaffed that it’s created massive backlogs.

Our inability to handle the number of migrants arriving at our border is only a symptom of the real problem. Biden could make real progress by streamlining the system so that visa applications — of all kinds — can be processed in a reasonable time.

As for the millions of pending cases, many of them likely are outdated or duplicated. The president should consider hiring a private data processing company to sort through them and look for the petitioners, scrap cases they can’t find and reignite the process for those they do.

Real, sensible action on our immigration process is what this country, and those who wish to enter, need. We can’t close the door on people who have nowhere else to go, and who can help our country both economically and socially. Officials need to open their minds to the real problem and offer ideas that can promise real results.

Whoever does that just might find the support he needs on election day.