Washington: Democratic and Republican leaders of the US Senate, with the support of President Joe Biden, have agreed to a historic, bipartisan agreement on immigration that will toughen illegal immigration, including giving the executive branch the authority to close the border when a threshold is exceeded. certain threshold. crossed and open additional avenues for legal migration, including provisions for additional green cards and work visas for spouses.
The $20 billion funding to step up border controls is part of a broader $118 billion national security supplement that also includes funding for military assistance of more than $60 billion to Ukraine and $14 billion of dollars to Israel, and to reinforce the security footprint in the Indo-Pacific. .
But approval of the agreement is uncertain. From the right, former US President Donald Trump, whose campaign is riding on Biden’s record on immigration and who does not want to give the administration a victory on the issue, and House Republican leaders, including President Mike Johnson, who called the deal “dead on arrival,” have vowed to block it, arguing that immigration restrictions do not go far enough. From the left, progressive Democratic Party lawmakers and many immigration advocacy groups have opposed the deal, arguing that it goes too far in imposing restrictions and does not represent comprehensive immigration reform.
A fair deal: Biden
In a statement, Biden, whose team has been working closely with senators on drafting the text, called the agreement “the toughest and fairest set of border reforms in decades.”
Biden said the agreement will give him authority to “shut down” the border when it is overwhelmed; make the asylum process “fairer and more efficient”; expedite work permits for those already in the U.S.; create more opportunities for families to reunite through short-term visits, as well as greater permanent legal avenues; ensuring that unaccompanied young children had paid legal representation; and provide you with resources to add border patrol agents, immigration judges, asylum officers and state-of-the-art inspection machines to help detect and stop the flow of fentanyl. For the administration, the fact that the deal includes funding for Ukraine is significant, since Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against Russian aggression depends heavily on American support.
For Indian immigrants, the proposed bill has several possible implications. Given the increase in illegal Indian immigrants crossing the southern border, this will lead to stricter enforcement of the law, but for those already in the United States, it will allow for more expedited work authorization. For those who are legally in the United States, it potentially offers relief in three ways. First, it increases the limit on the number of immigrant visas available annually by adding an additional 250,000 immigrant visas over 5 years (50,000/year). Second, it provides relief to more than 250,000 people who came to the United States as children on their parents’ work visas and have now “expired” by allowing work authorization for those who had been dependent children for eight years previously. turning 21 years old. Third, for family unity purposes, it allows non-citizens to travel to the US on a visitor visa.
Trump rejects the agreement
But Trump, who wields substantial influence among Republicans in Congress, rejected the deal. And so have a group of Republican senators loyal to him, even though Senate Minority Leader and Republican stalwart Mitch McConnell has supported the deal, in a sign that the civil war within the Republican Party between the former anti-Trump establishment and the pro-Trump “Make America Great Again” faction may jeopardize the passage of the bill. Spokesman Johnson posted on X: “I’ve seen enough. This bill is even worse than we expected and will not end the border catastrophe the President has created. As the top Democratic negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, “the border is never closed.” “If this bill makes it to the House, it will be dead on arrival.”
Challenge to the bill also comes from progressives: House Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal said the bill was crafted under the concept of “Republican hostage-taking and refusal to fund aid for Ukraine.” ”. He said the text included poisonous provisions such as Title 42 that would “close the border and turn away asylum seekers without due process,” subject migrants to “unrealistic standards and deadlines for filing their asylum claims,” and parole. limited at land ports of entry “which will only disincentivize people arriving at ports to be processed in a safe and orderly manner.”
He said that “small adjustments to visas in exchange for closing the asylum system and causing more harm to vulnerable people seeking refuge in the United States is not serious reform.”