Senators on both sides criticize border deal

The new Senate border deal is a 280-page makeover of the country’s asylum, work authorization, and immigration adjudication system. It has the support of President Biden, Senate leaders from both parties and House Democratic leadership. However, the bill appears to be doomed to fail after House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., called it “dead on arrival” in his chamber, and Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., who is in charge of scheduling votes, said it will not receive one.

“The border security bill will put a huge number of new enforcement tools in the hands of a future administration and push the current administration to finally stop the illegal flow,” Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said in a statement.

Lankford was the principal Republican negotiator along with Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn.

“We’re creating bold new tools to get control of the border for the first time in a long time.,” Murphy said. “But our bill does not deviate from our nation’s core values.”

Here’s just a small glimpse of what’s in it: 

On asylum 

The bill raises the credible fear standard for asylum-seekers and allows those who pass that new, higher bar to receive a work permit.

The bill requires those cases to be fully decided within 6 months. Currently, it takes years for those cases to be decided. 

It also takes into consideration whether the applicant could have moved within their own country to find safety or moved somewhere other than the United States. 

New Border Emergency Authority

The bill creates a Border Emergency Authority that requires DHS to shut down the border and immediately deport all new arrivals if Border Patrol encounters reach a one-week average of 5,000 per day.

Below that threshold, single adults would be detained, while families would be released. 

General border security provisions

The bill provides $650 million to build and reinforce miles of new border wall.

It ends the Biden administration’s use of the CBPOne app to facilitate parole and work authorizations.
Foreign aid 

The bill would provide:

$60.6 billion for Ukraine.

$4.8 billion in military support for the Indo-Pacific region.

$14.1 billion for Israel.

In the Senate, progressives like Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., oppose the bill. Meanwhile, conservatives, including Mike Lee, R-Utah, Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., are a “no,” raising questions as to whether it will receive support from half of Senate Republicans. 

Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he’s hopeful it’ll pass his chamber and had a message for Speaker Johnson.

“You know we need to fix our border, you know it has to be bipartisan. The bill that you passed didn’t get a single Democratic vote in the House or Senate, how are you going to get anything done?” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” 

Johnson, meanwhile, is bringing forward a $14.3 billion dollar supplemental package for Israel during the week of Feb. 4.

The top Democrat in the House, Hakeem Jeffries, N.Y., said Johnson’s proposal provides critical aid to Israel but “irresponsibly fails to address the other national security issue.”

“There is reason to believe that this eleventh-hour standalone bill is a cynical attempt to undermine the Senate’s bipartisan effort,” Jeffries wrote to his fellow House Democrats.

Despite that, Jeffries said House Democrats will consider supporting the measure.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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