Senate Republicans are making their demands known for the national security spending bill currently making its way through Congress. They are insisting that the bill include policy changes aimed at stopping the flow of illegal immigrants at the border. Although President Biden has requested $106 billion in funding for various U.S. efforts, including border security, Republicans argue that money alone will not solve the issue of illegal immigration. They are calling for the restoration of the Trump-era “remain in Mexico” rule, which required asylum seekers to wait in Mexico until their cases were resolved in U.S. courts.
Senate GOP doubles down on demands for border security amid rifts over Israel, Ukraine aid https://t.co/aziqtK9zrk
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) October 31, 2023
The Biden administration has reversed several strict immigration policies implemented by the Trump administration, leading to an unprecedented surge in illegal border crossings. Senate Republicans, led by South Dakota Sen. John Thune, believe that border security is a crucial national security interest that must be addressed in the spending bill. They argue that in order to garner their support, the bill must include sufficient measures to secure the southern border.
President Biden’s proposal does include funding to hire more Border Patrol agents and immigration judges, as well as assistance for communities dealing with a high influx of migrants. It also seeks to increase the number of detention beds for migrants awaiting deportation hearings. However, Republicans argue that these plans focus more on processing illegal immigrants rather than preventing them from entering the country in the first place. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called on Congress to treat the southern border as a sovereign legal boundary and take decisive action to address the ongoing crisis.
Both the House and Senate are working on their own versions of the national security bill. House Republican leaders believe that each national security issue should be addressed separately. They plan to hold a vote this week on a $14.3 billion measure for Israel, funded by reallocating money from the IRS. However, Democrats and the White House have criticized this proposal, labeling it a “nonstarter” due to the IRS cuts. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer accused House Speaker Mike Johnson of exploiting the Israel crisis for political gain and introduced “poison pills” into the legislation.
It remains to be seen how these contentious issues will be resolved as Congress continues to debate the national security spending bill.