Republicans Make New Push for Trump-era Border Restrictions

Republicans Make New Push for Trump-era Border Restrictions – Last Thursday, Senate Republicans presented their most recent proposal regarding border policy adjustments, which includes a set of requests that Democrats have thus far rejected. Republicans are pushing for a prohibition on class-based “parole,” a crucial strategy employed by the White House for establishing legal entry routes and handling the border surge, as outlined in a list of demands known to two sources. 

Their recent proposal aims to restrict the administration from extending parole for migrants, affecting policy for Afghans and Ukrainians authorized to reside in the U.S. for humanitarian reasons. The Republican proposal includes the establishment of a new authority for expulsions, resurrecting a variant of the Title 42 policy. 

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Additionally, it suggests implementing metrics to automatically trigger a border shutdown, ceasing the acceptance of migrants if the border numbers reach a specified threshold. Republicans aim to limit the administration’s parole authority for releasing detained migrants and propose mandatory electronic monitoring for individuals, including children, not in detention. 

Additionally, they seek to institute a transit ban and reintroduce nationwide, expedited removal authority, reviving a policy from the Trump era that the Biden administration overturned in 2021. Although the GOP’s counteroffer reignited discussions following an unsuccessful Senate vote this week, the incorporation of policies previously dismissed by Democrats raises doubts about the possibility of a bipartisan agreement before Congress adjourns for the year. 

At the very least, it underscores the substantial differences that persist in crafting a border deal crucial for unlocking significant funding for Ukraine and Israel. An aide to Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, the top Republican negotiator, said there is “no final draft.” “Lankford has been clear that they have been exchanging paper for weeks,” the aide said.

On Thursday, Lankford, along with Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), convened before the weekend break, committing to restart negotiations that have proven exceptionally challenging to conclude. Even if they manage to agree on policy changes in principle, the conversion of those ideas into concrete legislative language poses another hurdle. 

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Moreover, the uncertainty lingers regarding whether anything approved by the Senate could garner the essential support in the House. The pressure is not solely originating from Republicans. Progressives and immigration advocates are largely against the proposals put forth by the GOP, with Murphy expressing concern that previous Republican offers have advocated for a complete border shutdown.

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