Can Congress agree on an immigration deal meant to quell the chaos at America’s southern border? Lawmakers on Capitol Hill continue to wrestle with that question.
A border deal is also seen as the last hurdle for getting foreign aid to American allies around the world.
Senators believe they’re close to a bipartisan border compromise. One of the final issues centers around parole authority or the so-called “catch and release” policy that allows border crossers to come into the country rather than be detained.
As negotiators iron out the details, Senate Republican leaders pushed the importance of a deal.
“The entire world understands what’s at stake here in the Senate in the coming weeks. America’s national security begins with securing and maintaining our borders. It’s a matter of basic sovereignty. But we’re also a global superpower with global responsibilities,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on the Senate floor this week.
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A border deal is seen as a key to unlocking new aid for Ukraine and Israel. However, nothing is certain even if the Senate agrees to something. House Republicans haven’t shown they are willing to agree to what the Senate might send to them.
Former President Donald Trump has also been critical of a bipartisan compromise, posting on Truth Social, the House Speaker will only make a deal that is “perfect on the border.”
“There are many on the hard right who are trying desperately to kill these negotiations before they finish. Many of them are motivated by naked partisanship, others are taking cues from Donald Trump. These hard right saboteurs talk on and on about the need to fix the border, but now they don’t want to see a bipartisan solution on the border, which is the only kind of solution, of course, which can pass,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
It’s possible border reform gets caught up in politics with both sides using any collapse of a deal as a reason to blame the other.
“We’re likely to see a blame game. And I think that’s kind of the goal of the negotiations from the Democrats’ perspective. They know the House isn’t going along with it, so they want to see a deal get done in the Senate. So they want to say ‘it’s on the House for not passing anything. We passed something that has bipartisan support and it’s their fault the border is in crisis for not going along with the deal we came up with,'” the Cato Institute’s David Bier told CBN News.
Both the border negotiations and the foreign aid are part of a national security supplemental package that has one more wrinkle added to it. Democrats are hopeful to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza in the deal, but McConnell threw cold water on the idea Tuesday.
McConnell called the Palestinian Authority, the group that could be in charge of the area when the fighting is over, “relentlessly and thoroughly corrupt.”