On Sunday, senators unveiled a new bipartisan bill that is mixing funding for Ukraine, Taiwan and Israel with a crackdown on illegal immigration through a new border deal with the White House.
The bill has to overcome an uncertain vote in the Senate, which is not even its biggest threat: House Republicans have declared it “dead on arrival.”
What’s In The New Border Deal?
Approximately $20 billion of the bill’s $118-billion funding package would be directed to increasing border security by hiring new border patrol officials, hiring more asylum workers, financing expansions for detention centers as well as increasing screening capacity for illegal drugs.
The most innovative part of the bill would be the launch of a new system that would trigger a border shutdown if a certain number of unauthorized migrants are encountered at the border on a daily or weekly basis.
If the number of illegal migrants reaches a daily average of 5,000 in one week or 8,500 in one single day, the border would immediately shut down for asylum seekers and all other unauthorized migrants until encounters drop back down to 75% of those thresholds. The president would be granted the special power to order a border shutdown if unauthorized migrants reach a daily average of 4,000 in a given week.
Migrants with asylum appointments would still be met at the border, which would need to process at least 1,400 appointments in moments of border shutdown.
The process for seeking asylum would become more complicated for those arriving at the border without authorization. The decision to grant asylum would fall on a new internal board instead of the courts. The new process would raise the bar for qualifying as an asylum seeker, requiring people to show more proof of not being able to safely return to their home countries.
The bill would also change certain policies that streamline the immigration process in particular cases.
It provides a pathway for lawful permanent status for Afghans who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban took over following the U.S. withdrawal from the country.
It also creates 250,000 new visas for green-card eligible families and employment-based workers over the course of five years.
Will The Deal Pass?
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to raise the bill for a procedural vote Wednesday that…