What exactly is in the Senate bill for border security and funding to Ukraine and Israel? 

February 5 — A potential new border security bill coming from the United States Senate would deport criminal aliens immediately after they cross the border and increase border patrol recruitment and streamline hiring. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants this bill to move quickly. 

He said, “The bottom line is that everyone who looks at our bills says that it will greatly reduce the flow of illegal immigrants into this country and that it’s done in a fair way.” 

The bill is expected to cost about $118 billion. 

It also includes $60 billion to help Ukraine and $14 billion in security assistance for Israel. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “They finally rolled it out last night and certainly not everybody that’s looked at this thinks it’s going to reduce illegal immigration. Almost $120 billion aid package is built into this border security bill and then billions of other funds for Taiwan and southern border security. Look, there are some good things in this bill. There is no doubt there are some good things in this bill. But there’s some bad things in the bill too. Of course this is where the rub is. The Senate is going to vote on it Wednesday. It appears the votes are in the Senate to pass it. Mike Johnson, Speaker of the House, he’s saying it’s dead on arrival. He’s not even going to allow the House to vote on it. That’s actually causing some heartburn in some circles including among some conservatives.”

One of the major points of this bill would be the government could shut down the border once there have been 4,000 crossings in a day and it really toughens the asylum criteria. 

Barkdoll said, “So all these people coming in and just saying I’m here for asylum and they’re let in, well this new bill would tighten that up and it would also require those asylum seekers to be detained in some kind of a facility there in Texas or New Mexico or Arizona. They would have to then have their asylum hearing within 90 days. But as Speaker Johnson and some of the other critics are pointing out, this still is not enough. They think there’s still too many loopholes in this. The bill also expands opportunities for paths to citizenship for people that get into the country. That is not sitting well with a lot of actual conservatives and progressives. Hard to say where this thing lands again, you’ll see a vote on Wednesday but whether it even gets to a vote in the House is very uncertain at this point.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “I’m so sick and tired of this. We’re broke. We are broke. Where’s the dough coming from other than here, let me just write something and put a piece of paper and some box here but we’re going to send more unaccounted money out to Ukraine with nobody talking anywhere about when does it stop? What is the end game? It’s remarkable to me.” 

“Agreed,” Barkdoll said, “This is what some of the Freedom Caucus members of the House are pointing out. This weekend, Speaker Johnson to try to get in front of this border package, he’s rolling out a standalone Israeli a package for even more money than is in the border package and what a lot of the Freedom Caucus members are crying about, they’re saying under all these new House rules, there’s to be no new spending unless there’s an offset with cuts somewhere else. Well, Johnson is now saying well, there’s an exception when it comes to this. We can approve the money without an offset. And I think a lot of voters feel exactly what you just expressed. We can’t just keep printing and spending this money like this with not only no accountability, but there’s no companion offsets to the spending.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “It just makes me just wince to see some of the language where they say it will also give the government emergency powers to refuse entry, this is Reuters so it says to migrants crossing the border or quickly expel those who have already entered the US. Does anybody believe anybody’s going to be really quickly expelled, who’ve already entered? Secondly, what do you mean you have to grant emergency powers to refuse entry? They already have the power to refuse entry, but they won’t use it and everyone keeps saying this bill is still going to let in so-called legitimate asylum seekers, well we’re calling everybody a legitimate asylum seeker today. They know the language to use. They’ll be well-coached.”

Barkdoll said, “On the asylum piece, and it’s not clear what this would be, how this would operate. But supposedly now, if this were to pass and you come to the border and you’re claiming asylum, you must show proof that you’re unable to get asylum or somewhere safe in your home country. I don’t know what that looks like. I mean, if you’re an immigration judge, what’s the proof you would need to provide? Supposedly this would be a much higher level of scrutiny that in theory would turn these people away. But we know oftentimes how this stuff works, there’ll be workarounds with that as well.”

The bill would also add thousands of border patrol agents and judges. 

Barkdoll said, “Part of that 4000 people a day threshold to cut off the border, it’s purely to make sure the system doesn’t get overwhelmed. According to this legislation, this would allow the immigration court system, border officials to have a more orderly process of people coming over which they can’t do right now. So there’s just a lot of moving parts to this, but as we sit here this morning, I don’t know if it even gets to a vote. If it does get to a vote in the House, there’s some speculation that it probably passes but Johnson is adamant, Steve Scalise has joined in this as well, saying we’re not even going to let it get to the floor for a vote.”