(USNewsMag.com) – On Nov. 6, a working group of Senate Republicans released a proposed plan for border security measures and immigration legislation that was dismissed by both Senate Democrats and the White House, which called the proposal a “total non-starter.” The plan, drawn mostly from House Republican legislation H.R. 2 that passed in the House earlier this year, seeks to solve the ongoing crisis at the southern border.
The proposal, introduced by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, and Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, requires that the Department of Homeland Security resume construction of the border wall, which was halted in 2021 by the Biden administration. The proposal also mandates DNA collection.
The plan would have included significant restrictions on migrant eligibility for release by the federal government into the interior of the country. DHS would have been prevented from using class-based criteria in order to use humanitarian parole, which is currently used to parole thousands of migrants every day. While charges are pending for illegal crossings, DHS would have been required to keep families in custody.
Asylum limits for migrants who have traveled through another country without claiming asylum would have been tightened by the proposal. The “credible fear” standard that is used to judge a claim for asylum would be raised. Migrants who have committed serious crimes or felonies would be ineligible for asylum.
The proposal also sought to increase the retention of Border Patrol agents through increased overtime and improved recruiting.
The proposed legislation would be conditional on Republicans agreeing to a $105 billion request for aid for Israel and Ukraine, which would include $14 billion for border operations. Lindsey Graham stated that it’s time to change course as “Biden’s border policies are not working.”
Senate Majority Leader and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer called it a “total non-starter,” adding that Ukraine funding being conditional “on hard-right border policies” is a mistake and would not pass in Congress.
The White House rejected the proposal immediately, stating that it disagreed “with many of the policies” in the proposal. However, White House spokesperson Angelo Fernandez Hernandez added that the White House is open to discussing “reforms that will improve our immigration system.”
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