Senators Introduce Immigration Bill

A bipartisan group of senators introduced a proposed budget bill, which included some elements of increased border security amid the sharp increase of migrant crossings in recent months. Despite this, conservative critics argued that the bill still allowed for far too many migrants to cross into the U.S. and also offered an aid package to Ukraine.

The Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024 was released on Sunday and included elements tied to foreign aid and the border crisis. It would allow for further border enforcement when the average number of crossings reached around 5,000 per day.

However, border hawks expressed opposition to what they called a weak bill.

This included Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who described it as an effort to legalize illegal immigration. She said that “allowing even one immigrant to enter our country illegally is unacceptable.”

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) criticized the proposed bill on social media, citing efforts to impeach Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas due to the current border crisis. Vance argued that the bill would allow Mayorkas not to enforce border protections.

“Why would any Republican vote for this?” he asked.

The budget bill came amid sharp disapproval for the Biden administration’s approach to the border crisis. 2023 saw the highest level of attempted border crossings in American history. Last December saw the number of such encounters cross 300,000 for the first time in American history.

While most of the White House’s critics are conservatives, a number of Democrats have expressed their frustration over the border issue. This includes the strain of tens of thousands of migrants who have entered into major cities, including New York, Chicago, Boston and Denver.

The increased flow of migrants have strained city resources and caused dramatic expansions of shelters and even tent cities. In some cases, services for citizens were reduced in order to instead take care of migrants, such as the closure of New York’s James Madison High School to accommodate migrants during cold weather.