The US-Mexico border has been a hot topic of debate for years, especially since the surge of migrants seeking asylum in the US in recent months. The Biden administration has faced criticism from both sides of the political spectrum for its handling of the border crisis, which has overwhelmed federal authorities and humanitarian organizations.
However, a new deal reached by a bipartisan group of senators could potentially change the situation at the border. The deal, which is expected to be unveiled as soon as next week, would give the US new power to clamp down on illegal border crossings and speed up the asylum process.
What are the main features of the deal?
According to sources familiar with the matter, the deal would grant the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) new emergency authority to shut down the border if daily average migrant encounters reach 4,000 over a one-week span. If migrant crossings increase above 5,000 per day on a given week, DHS would be required to close the border to all illegal migrants. Moreover, if crossings exceed 8,500 in a single day, DHS would be required to close the border to migrants illegally crossing the border.
Any migrant who tries to cross the border twice while it is closed would be banned from entering the US for one year. The deal would also speed up the asylum process to consider cases within six months – compared with the current system, under which it could take up to 10 years for asylum seekers. Some migrants would be allowed to stay in their countries if they prove that they have fled from torture or persecution.
The goal of the trio of negotiators – GOP Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut – is to prevent surges that overwhelm federal authorities and create a more efficient and humane system for asylum seekers.
What are the implications of the deal?
The deal, if passed by Congress and signed by President Biden, could have significant implications for the border situation and the immigration debate in the US. On one hand, the deal could deter some migrants from attempting to cross the border illegally, reduce the backlog of asylum cases, and improve the conditions for migrants in US custody. On the other hand, the deal could also raise human rights concerns, limit the access to asylum for some migrants, and face legal challenges from immigration advocates and civil liberties groups.
The deal could also put pressure on Republicans to decide whether to support the new authorities or reject the plan as former President Trump has urged the GOP to do. Trump has campaigned against Biden’s handling of the border and called for a “perfect” bill that would include funding for a border wall, stricter enforcement measures, and cuts to legal immigration. However, some top Senate Republicans, such as Mitch McConnell, have said that the issue must be dealt with now since Democrats are willing to approve tougher restrictions.
The deal could also affect the relations between the US and Mexico, as well as other countries in Central America, where most of the migrants originate from. The deal could require more cooperation and coordination between the US and its neighbors to address the root causes of migration, such as poverty, violence, and corruption. The deal could also impact the public perception of the US as a destination for migrants and refugees, as well as its role as a leader in human rights and humanitarian issues.
What are the next steps for the deal?
The deal is still in the works and has not been officially announced yet. The negotiators are expected to release more details of the deal in the coming days and seek support from their colleagues in the Senate. The deal could be attached to a broader package of aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, which is seen as a must-pass bill by both parties.
However, the deal could also face opposition and obstacles from both sides of the aisle, as well as from the White House and the courts. Some Democrats could oppose the deal for being too harsh and restrictive, while some Republicans could oppose the deal for being too lenient and ineffective. The White House could also have reservations about the deal, as it could limit its discretion and flexibility in dealing with the border situation. The courts could also intervene and block the deal, as they have done with previous immigration policies enacted by both Trump and Biden.
Therefore, the fate of the deal is uncertain and depends on many factors. However, the deal represents a rare attempt at bipartisan compromise on a divisive and complex issue that affects millions of lives. Whether the deal succeeds or fails, it could have lasting consequences for the US, its neighbors, and the world.
(1) Key senators cut deal to give US new power to clamp down on border crossings. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/key-senators-cut-deal-to-give-us-new-power-to-clamp-down-on-border-crossings/ar-BB1hk0A6.
(2) Key senators cut deal to give US new power to clamp down on border …. https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/26/politics/senate-deal-shutdown-border/index.html
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