Border Deal Negotiators Assert Potential Benefit for Trump—Will MAGA Pay Attention?

Border Bill Negotiators Say Deal Could Help Trump—Will MAGA Listen?

Negotiators of the bipartisan Senate border deal, freshly unveiled, assert that their proposal would benefit Donald Trump if he returns to the White House. However, the former president and his supporters have not been swayed by these claims.

The release of the border deal’s text sparked immediate opposition. Trump criticized it as “horrendous” on Truth Social, while House Speaker Mike Johnson stated on X (formerly Twitter) that the bill would be “dead on arrival” in the House. Johnson insisted that President Joe Biden has the authority to resolve the crisis promptly.

During his presidency, Trump frequently lamented the constraints on his authority, particularly criticizing the “endemic abuse of the asylum system” in a 2018 address. He emphasized the necessity for Congress to address issues related to open border obstruction to ensure the nation’s sovereignty.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump (Credits: POLITICO)

With an average of approximately 262,000 monthly border crossings over the past three months and a backlog of over 3 million cases in U.S. immigration courts, the issue remains pressing. The bill’s negotiators, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, an independent from Arizona, and Republican Senator James Lankford from Oklahoma, argue that it would empower future presidents to address such challenges more effectively.

“The last three presidents, including Obama, Trump, and Biden, have all emphasized the need for changes to asylum policy to combat the ongoing exploitation,” Sinema stated in response to a question from Newsweek. “Our bill addresses that.”

According to the bill’s provisions, if the border experiences a seven-day average of 5,000 illegal daily crossings, an expulsion authority would be activated. This authority would prevent individuals who crossed illegally from seeking asylum, directing immigration officials to consider claims made only at ports of entry.

Currently, individuals who cross illegally can apply for asylum once detained by border patrol, allowing them to remain in the U.S. while their claims are processed. These claims contribute to the 3 million-case backlog. Some migrants are incentivized to cross illegally and claim asylum to spend time building a life in the U.S. while awaiting a decision on their case.

The border deal proposes raising the threshold for claiming asylum and deploying asylum officers to screen certain claims, reducing the burden on immigration judges. Supporters of the bill argue that this would alleviate the backlog and deter false asylum claims.

“The proposed change in asylum law has been long overdue and extensively discussed. It represents a significant shift,” Lankford explained to Newsweek. “This streamlined process would eliminate the 10-year backlog.”

In addition to asylum provisions, the bill, negotiated by Lankford, Sinema, and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, includes $20 billion to recruit new border agents, asylum officers, and invest in technology. It also increases the number of family- and employment-based visas and outlines other measures across its 370 pages.

The border agreement has garnered support from the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing border patrol, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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