Congress is eying immigration limits as GOP demands border changes

Washington: As record numbers of migrants surge at the southern U.S. border, many seeking asylum, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has told Congress the country’s “broken” immigration system is in need of a top-to-bottom update.

But rather than undertake a comprehensive immigration overhaul, Congress is scrambling in a few short weeks for a deal that would greatly restrict the asylum and humanitarian parole process used by thousands to temporarily stay in the U.S. while their claims are being processed in the backlogged system.

Pushed to the negotiating table by Republicans, the Biden administration is considering the long-shot effort as the price to be paid for the president’s $106 billion year-end request for Ukraine, Israel and national security needs. It comes as Mayorkas, the face of the administration’s immigration policy, bears down the threat of impeachment proceedings from House Republicans over what they view as failed border policies.

“We’re not going to try to secure other countries and not secure ours,” said Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, as he rolled out the Senate GOP’s border effort earlier this month.

A core group of senators, Republicans and Democrats, has been eying a deal that would provide money for the wars overseas in exchange for changes to the asylum process and in particular humanitarian parole, which has been a go-to tool by the Biden administration to manage the swell of migrants at the border, but is being challenged in court.

Negotiating behind closed doors, the senators have discussed making it tougher for migrants to pass initial screening used by asylum officers to decide whether a person can stay in the country to pursue their asylum case.

Image courtesy of (WHNT)

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