Jan 18, 2024

House Republicans Battle Senate Republicans Over Border Deal

Migrants would receive work permits, taxpayer-funded lawyers, and green cards.
House Republicans Battle Senate Republicans Over Border Deal

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Written by Erin Spellman

What’s happening: House Republicans are balking at the latest Senate proposal on immigration reform, which they say would encourage mass migration. GOP Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) is calling the recently leaked draft of the bipartisan border deal negotiated by Republican Senator James Lankford a deal for illegal aliens—not Americans.

  • Dive deeper: The compromise includes an increase of green cards by 50,000 a year, immediate work permits for every illegal migrant released from custody, taxpayer-funded lawyers, and an allotment of 5,000 migrants into the U.S. per day.

Why it matters: House Republicans say the deal would welcome nearly 2 million migrants per year. Americans would then face increased job competition through the distribution of work permits, and suffer lower wages and potential job losses.

  • Bipartisan: The more than 10 million migrants who illegally crossed the border during Biden's presidency are already causing a strain on taxpayer resources. Americans on both sides of the aisle are increasingly unfavorable of illegal immigration.
  • But: House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) argued he would only accept a border deal that resembles the hardline immigration bill known as the Secure the Border Act, which would restart border wall construction, restrict asylum, and defund NGOs assisting with illegal migration.

New president, new deal? Some House Republicans might be willing to pass on this deal in favor of negotiating a “better” one under a possible Trump presidency. But Senate Republicans aren’t so sure that holding out is worth the risk.

  • Historic moment”: Senators Lindsey Graham and Minority Whip John Thune among others are warning House Republicans not to miss this opportunity. Graham said: “To get this kind of border security without granting a pathway to citizenship is really unheard of.”

Zoom out: President Biden continues to call for amnesty amid threats of illegal crossings by suspected terrorists. The crisis resulting from Biden's open border policy proves to be a top issue for voters and a weak spot for Democrats as voters head to the polls.

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