US Senate releases deal on border and Ukraine – but will it ever become law?

Migrants cross from El Ciudad Juarez, Mexico into El Paso, Texas
Image caption,More than 6.3 million migrants have crossed into the US illegally since the beginning of 2021

By Sam Cabral and Bernd Debusmann Jr

BBC News, Washington

US senators have unveiled a long-awaited cross-party deal that aims to combat illegal immigration at the US-Mexico border – and, in return, grant new aid to Ukraine and Israel.

The bill would introduce much more severe measures to try to stem border crossings, which are at record levels.

The influx is one of the biggest political headaches facing Joe Biden.

The Democratic-led Senate will vote on the bill this week, but House Republicans have already rejected it.

“Any consideration of this Senate bill in its current form is a waste of time. It is DEAD on arrival in the House,” the top four Republican leaders said in a joint statement on Monday.

“We encourage the U.S. Senate to reject it.”

Included in the huge $120bn funding deal is $60bn to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia and $14bn in security assistance for Israel.

The military aid became part of a Mexico border deal because Republicans had said they would not agree to more money being sent to Ukraine until action was taken to fix the migrant crisis.

In a speech on the Senate floor on Monday evening, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged his colleagues to support the measure.

“The gaping hole in our nation’s southern borders on President Biden’s watch is not going to heal itself,” he claimed.

Immigration has emerged as the top issue driving Republicans to the polls in support of former President Donald Trump, the front-runner to face Mr Biden in the November general election.

Faced with mounting public anger over the migrant inflows, President Biden vowed in January to “shut down the border right now and fix it quickly” if Congress sent a bill to his desk.

  • Biden risks Democrats’ fury again over border

The bill, which senators of both parties have spent months negotiating, was unveiled on Sunday night.

But Republicans began rejecting the measure before any legislative text had been unveiled, alleging its border reforms did not go far enough.

What’s happening at the border?

Since President Biden took office in January 2021, more than 6.3 million migrants have been detained crossing into the US illegally between points of entry, according to statistics from the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS.

Of these, about 2.4 million were allowed into the US, where the majority wait for immigration court dates in which they can make a case for asylum. The system is so overwhelmed that this can take years.

“We encourage the U.S. Senate to reject it.”

Included in the huge $120bn funding deal is $60bn to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia and $14bn in security assistance for Israel.

The military aid became part of a Mexico border deal because Republicans had said they would not agree to more money being sent to Ukraine until action was taken to fix the migrant crisis.

In a speech on the Senate floor on Monday evening, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged his colleagues to support the measure.

“The gaping hole in our nation’s southern borders on President Biden’s watch is not going to heal itself,” he claimed.

Immigration has emerged as the top issue driving Republicans to the polls in support of former President Donald Trump, the front-runner to face Mr Biden in the November general election.

Faced with mounting public anger over the migrant inflows, President Biden vowed in January to “shut down the border right now and fix it quickly” if Congress sent a bill to his desk.

  • Biden risks Democrats’ fury again over border

The bill, which senators of both parties have spent months negotiating, was unveiled on Sunday night.

But Republicans began rejecting the measure before any legislative text had been unveiled, alleging its border reforms did not go far enough.

What’s happening at the border?

Since President Biden took office in January 2021, more than 6.3 million migrants have been detained crossing into the US illegally between points of entry, according to statistics from the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS.

Of these, about 2.4 million were allowed into the US, where the majority wait for immigration court dates in which they can make a case for asylum. The system is so overwhelmed that this can take years.https://tehopeng.com/

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