Senate Unveils Proposed Border Deal Package – Key Highlights

The Senate’s border deal and foreign aid package, announced on Sunday, would impose harsh constraints along the US southern border that had not previously been established in law, effectively curtailing asylum at the US southern border, breaking with decades of practice.

If passed, the bill would fundamentally alter immigration policy for the first time in decades. The package clears the way for a critical vote in the chamber this week, in which the measure is at risk of failing and, if passed, causing a showdown with the House.

Even if passed, the agreement is unlikely to go into force immediately because it would necessitate an enormous amount of resources, including the employment of new workers, which can take months.

Senate Unveils Proposed Border Deal Package – Key Highlights

Here are the main changes included in the bill:

  • A new emergency authority will limit border crossings if the daily average migrant encounters top 4,000 over one week. If that measure is fulfilled, the Homeland Security secretary may opt to prohibit migrants from requesting asylum if they crossed the border illegally.

If migrant crossings exceed 5,000 on average each day in a given week, DHS must utilize the authority. If the number of interactions exceeds 8,500 in a single day, the agency must exercise its jurisdiction. However, the federal government is limited in how long it can exercise its jurisdiction.

The government can use it for 270 days in the first year, 225 in the second, and 180 in the third. The authorization expires after three years.

  • Establishes a policy requiring the government to process at least 1,400 asylum claims at ports of entry when emergency powers are invoked.
  • Increases the legal level of proof required to pass the initial asylum screening, thereby making the process more onerous for asylum seekers.
  • Reduces the asylum processing duration from years to six months.
Senate Unveils Proposed Border Deal Package – Key Highlights
  • Establishes a new method in which US Citizenship and Immigration Services will decide on an asylum application without going through the immigration court system. The process does not apply to unaccompanied migrant children.
  • Preserves the president’s authority to grant humanitarian parole on an individual case basis. President Joe Biden has invoked the authority for Ukrainians, Afghans, Cubans, Venezuelans, and Haitians, among other groups.
  • Contains minor adjustments that restrict the use of parole at land crossings.
  • Authorizes 250,000 additional immigrant visas for families over a five-year period, including employment-based immigrants.
  • Establishes a road to citizenship for Afghans paroled into the United States following the US drawdown from Afghanistan, and expands the special immigrant visa program for Afghans who worked for the US government.


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