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Border talks fall apart in Senate days before vote on Biden’s aid package

Dec 04, 2023

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Border talks between Senate Democrats and Republicans fell through during the weekend of Dec. 2, as senators are expected to vote on President Biden’s aid package for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and the U.S. southern border. Biden is seeking $106 billion with $14 billion earmarked for tightening border security.

Republicans are looking to strike a deal with Democrats to reform the asylum system, even though Congress has not passed significant border reform since 1996.

Lead Republican negotiator Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said that the Senate will not pass the aid package and send money overseas without a bipartisan border agreement.

“The most important thing is to be able to get this right,” Lankford said Sunday, Dec. 3, on ABC News. “The American people, whether Republican, Democrat or Independent, just want a secure border. I don’t run into many people who want no immigration, they just want legal immigration. People want a legal, orderly process, not the chaos that we currently have on our southern border. That shouldn’t be too tall of an order to be able to fulfill.”

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are saying that border talks are dead, and they walked away from negotiations on Friday.

Lead Democratic negotiator Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said Republicans are insisting on policies that would “essentially close the border,” and that Democrats would not agree to their stipulations.

California Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla, along with nine other Democratic senators, signed a letter regarding the GOP’s demands to tighten border security.

“As negotiations surrounding the supplemental aid package progress, we are concerned about reports of harmful changes to our asylum system that will potentially deny lifesaving humanitarian protection for vulnerable people, including children, and fail to deliver any meaningful improvement to the situation at the border,” the letter stated.

At the same time, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is vowing to take part of his immigration fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Friday, Dec. 1, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s order that Abbott remove floating buoy barriers on the Rio Grande, meant to deter migrants from crossing into Texas.

The three-judge panel of the court ruled 2-to-1 that the buoys are “obstruction” and said Abbott did not seek the approval of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers before deploying the barrier.

Abbott called the court’s decision “clearly wrong.”

“We’ll go to SCOTUS if needed to protect Texas from Biden’s open borders,” Abbott wrote on X.

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[Lauren Taylor]

BORDER TALKS IN THE SENATE FELL THROUGH BETWEEN DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS THIS WEEKEND AS senators are EXPECTED TO VOTE ON PRESIDENT BIDEN’S AID PACKAGE FOR UKRAINE, ISRAEL, TAIWAN, AND THE U-S SOUTHERN BORDER THIS WEEK.

BIDEN IS SEEKING $106 BILLION DOLLARS – WITH $14 BILLION EARMARKED FOR TIGHTENING BORDER SECURITY.

REPUBLICANS ARE LOOKING TO STRIKE A DEAL WITH DEMOCRATS TO REFORM THE ASYLUM SYSTEM – EVEN THOUGH CONGRESS HAS NOT PASSED SIGNIFICANT BORDER REFORM SINCE 1996.

THE LEAD REPUBLICAN NEGOTIATOR, SENATOR JAMES LANKFORD SAID SUNDAY – THE SENATE WILL NOT PASS THE AID PACKAGE AND SEND MONEY OVERSEAS WITHOUT A BI-PARTISAN BORDER AGREEMENT WITH DEMOCRATS.

 

[SENATOR JAMES LANKFORD / R-OKLAHOMA]

“but the most important thing is to be able to get this right. The American people, whether republican democrat or independent, just want a secure border. I don’t run into many people who want no immigration, they just want legal immigration. People want a legal, orderly process, not the chaos that we currently have on our southern border. that shouldn’t be too tall of an order to be able to fulfill.”

[Lauren Taylor]

MEANWHILE – SENATE DEMOCRATS SAY BORDER TALKS ARE DEAD.

DEMOCRATS WALKED AWAY FROM NEGOTIATIONS ON FRIDAY. 

LEAD DEMOCRATIC NEGOTIATOR – SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY – SAID REPUBLICANS ARE INSISTING ON POLICIES THAT WOULD “ESSENTIALLY CLOSE THE BORDER” – ACCORDING TO POLITICO – AND THAT DEMOCRATS WOULD NOT AGREE TO THEIR STIPULATIONS.

CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC SENATOR ALEX PADILLA – ALONG WITH 9 OTHER DEMOCRATIC SENATORS – SIGNED A LETTER LAST WEEK REGARDING THE GOP’S DEMANDS TO TIGHTEN BORDER SECURITY. IT READS IN PART…

“AS NEGOTIATIONS SURROUNDING THE SUPPLEMENTAL AID PACKAGE PROGRESS, WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT REPORTS OF HARMFUL CHANGES TO OUR ASYLUM SYSTEM THAT WILL POTENTIALLY DENY LIFE SAVING HUMANITARIAN PROTECTION FOR VULNERABLE PEOPLE, INCLUDING CHILDREN, AND FAIL TO DELIVER ANY MEANINGFUL IMPROVEMENT TO THE SITUATION AT THE BORDER.”

[Lauren Taylor]

AT THE SAME TIME –TEXAS REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT IS VOWING TO TAKE PART OF HIS IMMIGRATION FIGHT ALL THE WAY TO THE SUPREME COURT.

ON FRIDAY – THE FIFTH CIRCUIT COURT OF  APPEALS UPHELD A LOWER COURT’S ORDER THAT ABBOTT REMOVE FLOATING BUOY BARRIERS ON THE RIO GRANDE– MEANT TO DETER MIGRANTS FROM CROSSING INTO TEXAS.

THE THREE-JUDGE  PANEL OF THE COURT RULED TWO-TO-ONE THE BUOYS TO BE AN “OBSTRUCTION” AND SAID ABBOTT DID NOT SEEK THE APPROVAL OF THE U-S ARMY CORP OF ENGINEERS BEFORE DEPLOYING THE BARRIER.

ABBOTT CALLED THE COURT’S DECISION “CLEARLY WRONG” WRITING ON ‘X’ –

“WE’LL GO TO SCOTUS IF NEEDED TO PROTECT TEXAS FROM BIDEN’S OPEN BORDERS”