(USNewsMag.com) – Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman and Democratic Virginia Sen. Mark Warner discussed the increase of illegal immigrants crossing the southern border while noting that the Senate has not reached a deal on the border security framework to be included in the $106 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.
Warner stated that while it’s bad news that senators have not reached a deal, the good news “is that the negotiations have finally gotten serious.” He said that the senators cannot say Ukraine, Israel and the border are all crises “and then not do our job.”
The Senate had delayed beginning the Christmas and New Year’s recess to continue negotiations on the spending package as Republicans have refused to pass the additional aid package unless it includes an increase for border security measures. The proposed changes to border security include tightening asylum, changes to the metrics that trigger the expulsion of migrants at the southern border, limiting the use of parole that allows migrants to live in the U.S. temporarily, and mandatory detention.
Democrats originally stated they would exclude any increase in border security measures or changes to immigration policy from the bill. However, after Republican lawmakers blocked the supplemental bill from progressing to a vote, the negotiations began gaining momentum.
The negotiations come as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents reported on Dec. 19 that they had encountered over 12,600 migrants at the southern border in the previous 24 hours, the highest number ever recorded in a single day. The record high number led to the closing of two rail crossings to “redirect personnel” to help process the migrants crossing the border.
Since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, more than 6 million migrants have crossed the southern border, including 3.6 million in fiscal year 2023, according to statistics from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. During fiscal year 2023, more than 2.1 million migrants were apprehended at the border and released into the interior of the United States.
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