Sinema said migrants who request for asylum at a point of entry will be placed in a “removal authority program” and decided within six months. If credible fear tests fail, illegal immigrants will be detained and deported within 10 to 15 days. Lankford said the method is designed to process more individuals, make judgments, and deport quicker.
Immigration advocates say the asylum system overhaul and Biden's threats to “shut down the border” if the bill passes would deprive asylum seekers of a fair hearing and undermine the U.S.'s role as a safe haven for people fleeing violence.
“The Biden administration has shown itself to be completely consumed with border apprehension numbers rather than focusing on what is happening at the border with a humanitarian lens,” said Human Rights First refugee campaign director Robyn Barnard.
Biden's border management might be one of his biggest re-election weaknesses, as Senate Democrats have mainly supported a bill to reduce asylum applicants. The plan is likely to include billions for Border Patrol, asylum officers, and immigration judges.
Sinema said the border policy components of the plan will be finished Thursday and the funds soon after. The bill's unveiling may spark a Senate frenzy for support. GOP senators said a strong conference vote would give Johnson, the speaker, an incentive to bring the bill to the House floor.
After Republicans insisted on matching border policy improvements with Ukraine aid last year, Sen. Chris Murphy, the Connecticut Democrat who crafted the agreement, voiced anger that Republican backing remained questionable.
“It’s wild to me that after working for four months to get a breakthrough border deal, Republicans are talking about walking away from it because Donald Trump doesn’t like it,” he added.
Congress has failed to approve bipartisan border security and immigration legislation due to right-wing opposition, and immigration law has not been changed in decades. Sinema, who has led Senate accords on contentious political matters, left the Capitol confident: “I feel like we are going to get this done.”
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