EEUU Senate immigration proposal: tougher border security and stricter asylum rules

EEUU Senate immigration proposal: tougher border security and stricter asylum rules

Amid intense negotiations, a bipartisan group of senators has introduced a long-awaited $118 billion bill that seeks to strengthen border security policy in exchange for increased aid to Ukraine and Israel.

However, this proposal faces an uncertain future due to Republican skepticism and possible lack of consideration in the lower chamber.

Despite this, the initiative proposes key changes in immigration policy, such as limiting the use of parole by migrants arriving at the border and the possibility that the President could “close” the border in certain cases of high immigration flows.

Limiting Parole and Closing the Border

The bill proposes to restrict the use of parole by migrants arriving at the border seeking asylum. Parole is a mechanism that allows temporary entry into the country for persons who do not meet the requirements for admission, but who can demonstrate a humanitarian need or significant public interest. This limitation is intended to reduce the number of migrants who are released into the country while awaiting asylum processing.

In addition, the bill contemplates the possibility of the government closing the border in cases of high immigration flow. If the number of migrants arriving at the border seeking asylum reaches a certain number, the federal government would have the authority to take this measure.

For example, it is established that if there are 5,000 arrivals per day for several consecutive days, the border will be closed. There is even the option of closing the border when only 4,000 arrivals per day are reached, in order to avoid saturation of the system.

President Biden’s support and Republican skepticism

This bill has the “strong support” of President Joe Biden, who has urged its passage and described it as a plan that includes the toughest and fairest border reforms in decades. However, its future is not guaranteed due to Republican opposition and doubts about its consideration in the lower chamber.

House Republican Leader Mike Johnson has stated that there will be no quick consideration of this initiative and that they will focus on a bill that deals solely with providing aid to Israel in the midst of its conflict with the militant group Hamas in Gaza. This stance reflects the political divide over immigration policy and the difficulty in reaching consensus on this issue.

Changes in the practice of “catch and release”

One of the issues addressed in the bill is the end of the practice known as “catch and release”. This practice consists of federal authorities paroling migrants seeking asylum at the border and referring their cases to immigration courts for a judge to decide their future in the United States.

Kyrsten Sinema, an independent senator from Arizona, has stressed the need to put an end to this practice and establish new, more rigorous standards for interviewing and evaluating migrants who cannot be detained.

These measures are intended to streamline the asylum determination process and prevent migrants from remaining in the country for long periods of time without a final determination.

Asylum process and return to their countries of origin

As explained by Senator Sinema, the bill establishes that when a migrant arrives at the border seeking asylum, he/she will be taken into custody and an interview will be conducted to determine if he/she meets the asylum requirements. If they do not meet such requirements, they will be returned to their countries of origin.

In the case of migrant families who cannot be detained, it is proposed to monitor their situation for a maximum period of three months and conduct an interview with more rigorous standards to determine whether or not they qualify for asylum. This measure seeks to ensure a fair and efficient evaluation of asylum cases, avoiding unnecessary prolongation of the process.

Hiring New Officers and Supporting Shelters

The bill provides for the hiring of thousands of new asylum screening officers, as well as hundreds of Border Patrol agents. In addition, funding will be allocated for shelters and services in cities across the United States that have struggled to cope with the increased influx of immigrants in recent months.

This approach seeks to strengthen the capacity of the immigration system to cope with demand and provide an adequate response to migrants arriving at the border seeking asylum. It also seeks to improve reception conditions and ensure that migrants’ rights are protected during their stay in the United States.

Other parts of the funding package and negotiations

While the border proposal has been finalized by senators, other parts of the funding package are still being negotiated. These include aid to U.S. allies, investments in defense manufacturing capabilities, and humanitarian aid for people affected by the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, share the goal of providing more aid to Ukraine, making this proposal the best opportunity to do so. The Senate is expected to hold a “test vote” this week, although it has already faced opposition from conservatives.

A change of course in the immigration policy of

Importantly, the immigration proposal reflects a change of direction in U.S. immigration policy. While the need for comprehensive immigration reform has been debated in the past, this time the focus is on stricter border enforcement.

President Biden has expressed his willingness to “close the border” once the draft legislation becomes law. Opponents argue that presidents already have sufficient authority to curb illegal border crossings, ensuring that immigration will remain a major issue in presidential elections.

Conclusion: the uncertain future of the immigration proposal

Despite President Biden’s strong support, the Senate immigration bill faces an uncertain future due to Republican opposition and difficulties for consideration in the lower chamber.

However, this initiative seeks to tighten border security and establish stricter asylum rules, limiting the use of parole and allowing the border to be closed in cases of high immigration flows.

With the hiring of new officers and support for shelters, it seeks to improve the capacity of the immigration system to cope with demand and provide an adequate response to migrants arriving at the border seeking asylum.

While portions of the funding package are still under negotiation, this proposal represents a key opportunity to provide greater assistance to Ukraine and strengthen U.S. foreign policy.

The debate over immigration policy continues, and the Senate immigration proposal raises important changes that could have a significant impact on the U.S. border and asylum system. The future of this initiative remains uncertain, but its introduction demonstrates the willingness of lawmakers to address these challenges and seek solutions in the midst of a complex political landscape.