The negotiators of the United States Senate announced this Sunday, after several months of negotiation, a bipartisan agreement on the hardening of the border with Mexico and the unblocking of military aid to Ukraine and Israel, a document to which the US president, Joe Biden , has shown its support, urging Congress to approve it.
The 370-page text has been prepared by negotiating senators James Lankford, Republican; Chris Murphy, Democrat; and Kyrsten Sinema, independent, and negotiated with senior officials of the Biden Administration. If approved, it would give the president far-reaching powers to clamp down on border crossings, including expelling migrants without allowing them to apply for asylum.
The agreement would reform US border policy for the first time since 1990, restricting access to the asylum system during migration peaks, making it more difficult for migrants to pass initial asylum checks and increasing deportations of those who are not eligible for permission. of refugee.
In addition to border funding, it includes military aid for Israel and Ukraine, among other Washington foreign policy priorities. All of this amounts to 118 billion dollars (109.5 billion euros), of which some 20 billion (18.5 billion euros) will be allocated to the border component.
“IT’S TIME TO FIX IT”
Biden has urged Congress to pass this bill, for which he has shown his “strong” support: “We have now reached a bipartisan national security agreement that includes the toughest and fairest set of border reforms in decades. I strongly support it (…) I urge Congress to come together and quickly approve the agreement. Bring it to my desk so I can sign it and turn it into law immediately,” reads a statement from the White House.
“For too long, decades ago, the immigration system has been broken. It is time to fix it. That is why more than two months ago I ordered my Administration to work with a bipartisan group of senators to finally seriously address the issue. That’s what they have done: work 24 hours a day, during holidays and weekends,” he declared.
The president has assured that this text will make the country and the border “safer”, that it will “treat people fairly and humanely and, at the same time, preserve legal migration.” “It would give me, as president, new emergency authority to close the border when it becomes overwhelmed,” he explained.
According to him, it will make the asylum process “more fair and efficient”, protect “the most vulnerable”, accelerate work permits for those living in the United States, create “more opportunities” for families to meet, ensures the most vulnerable unaccompanied young children have paid representation and will provide resources to secure the border with border patrol, immigration judges and asylum officers.
“Although this agreement does not address everything I would have wanted, these reforms are essential to make our border more orderly, secure, fair and humane,” said the US leader, who referred to the investment to help detect and stop the flow of fentanyl, an opioid that is wreaking havoc on the American population and has become the worst drug crisis in the country’s history.
He has also highlighted that this agreement “would address two other important priorities”, as it “allows” to continue “defending Ukraine’s freedom” and supporting “its ability to defend itself against Russian aggression.” “If we do not stop (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s appetite for power and control of Ukraine, it will not be limited to Ukraine alone and US spending will increase,” he warned.
Likewise, he has indicated that “it provides Israel with what it needs to protect its people and defend itself from the terrorists of the (Islamic Resistance Movement) Hamas”, while it will provide “vital humanitarian assistance” for the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, where more than 27,300 people have died due to the continuous bombings of the Israeli Army.
“There is more work to do to get there. But I want to make something clear: If you believe, as I do, that we must secure the border now, doing nothing is not an option. By working, the Senate has done the hard work necessary to reach a bipartisan agreement. Now, Republicans in the House of Representatives have to decide. Do they want to solve the problem? Or do they want to continue playing politics with the border?” he questioned.
JOHNSON ASSURES THAT THE AGREEMENT “WILL DIE” WHEN IT REACHES THE CHAMBER
For his part, the president of the House of Representatives, Republican Mike Johnson, has assured that the agreement “will die” upon its arrival in the House, where the Republican Party has a majority.
“I’ve seen enough. This bill is even worse than expected, and it will not end the border catastrophe that the president has created. (…) If this bill reaches the House, it will be dead on arrival” , Johnson has expressed on his account on the social network X, formerly Twitter.
In addition, the leader of the Republican majority in the United States House of Representatives, Steve Scalise, has stated that the House will not accept the bill because it means “accepting 5,000 illegal migrants per day.”