Senate Unveils $118B Bipartisan Bill to Tighten Border Security

( – Senators have unveiled a new bill focused on implementing stricter immigration and asylum laws. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is aiming to secure votes on the $118 billion package this week. The agreement is designed to address the surge in southern border crossings and improve the system for asylum. It also gives funds to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan.

Made by James Lankford, a Republican of Oklahoma, and Chris Murphy a Democrat from Connecticut, the agreement, if approved by Congress, would be one of the biggest overhauls of the immigration process.

Senate Majority Leader Schumer expressed that the bill is significant, emphasizing that it will bolster defense, especially stateside. However, the deal has not yet been approved. It faces potential hurdles in the Senate, where a minimum of 60 votes is required to pass it. Many Conservative senators are against the bill, as is the likely GOP presidential nominee, Trump.

Despite support from the Senate, the deal encountered swift resistance from House Republican leadership, members of the House Freedom Caucus, and other conservative voices in Congress. Some even asserted that the bill would be “dead on arrival” in the House. The bill package also introduces new emergency authority, granting the Department of Homeland Security the ability to “shut down” the border under specific circumstances, such as encountering a significant influx of migrants.

The bill limits the duration of border closure under this authority to 270 days in the first year, with provisions allowing the president to suspend closure temporarily for national interest. During a border emergency closure, Border Patrol would continue processing legal entries through formal border entrances to the US, permitting unaccompanied minors to cross between these ports as well. Also, migrants who are attempting illegal crossings two or more times during an emergency would face a one-year entry ban.

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