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The U.S. Capitol Dome is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October 24, 2023.
Senate negotiators have agreed to give the U.S. authority to significantly restrict the crossing of illegal immigrants at the southern border, according to sources familiar with the move, which is aimed at ending a migrant uprising that has defied federal authorities for the past several months.
President Joe Biden has vowed to use the power granted by the treaty, embracing tougher measures than previously thought in an area where many voters see him as weaker than former President Donald Trump.
The Senate deal, expected to be released as soon as next week, would speed up the asylum process to review cases by six months — compared with the current system, which can take up to 10 years for asylum seekers.
The details provide a new window into months of high-level negotiations — with Senate leaders hoping to stitch together a deal to help Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan amid looming domestic and international crises. The plan will put pressure on Republicans to decide whether to give the new officials the green light or reject the plan Trump has The GOP insisted on defeat Anything short of what he calls a “perfect” bill.
BidenIn a rare statement on the ongoing congressional negotiations, Senate negotiators said the deal they were working on was tough and fair.
“Negotiated — and enacted into law — are the toughest and most reasonable reforms to protect our nation's border,” he said in a statement Friday. “It will give me a new emergency power to close the border when it is president. If given that power, I will use it the day I sign the bill.
Under the soon-to-be-released package, the Department of Homeland Security would be given new emergency authority to close the border if the daily average of immigrant encounters reached 4,000 over a one-week period. If crossings increase to an average of more than 5,000 immigrants per day in a given week, DHS must close the border to immigrants who cross illegally without entering ports of entry. Some migrants are allowed to stay if they can prove they are fleeing torture or persecution in their home countries.
Also, if it exceeds 8,500 in a single day, DHS must close the border to illegal immigrants. Under the proposal, any immigrant who attempts to cross the border twice while the border is closed would be barred from entering the United States for one year.
The goal of the trio of negotiators — Oklahoma's GOP Sen. James Lankford, Arizona's independent Sen. Kirsten Sinema and Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut — are to prevent an upheaval that overwhelms federal officials. The Biden administration and Senate leaders have been heavily involved in the negotiations, and more details on the deal are expected to be released in the coming days.
300,000 migrant encounters took place in December alone. If the new law goes into effect, the border will now be closed to illegal immigrants, the source said. Another source familiar with the matter said certain immigrants would be allowed to stay if they could show they were fleeing persecution — and there are still at least 1,400 asylum applications that can be processed despite legal ports of entry when emergency officials are present. effect.
The push to release a deal comes as Trump has rallied Republicans to reject any immigration compromise after campaigning against Biden's border manipulation. But several top Senate Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, say the issue must be resolved now that Democrats are ready to approve tougher restrictions.
This headline and story have been updated with additional reporting.
CNN's Betsy Klein contributed to this report.
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