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Failure of Border Bill in Senate is a “relief” for Black immigration advocates

Failure of Border Bill in Senate

Failure of Border Bill in Senate is a “relief” for Black immigration advocates. The legislation fell short in a 49-50 vote, lacking the necessary 60 votes for passage. The defeat of the bill comes as a significant development in the ongoing debate over immigration policies and border security.

Amy Fischer, advocacy director for the Americas with Amnesty International, conveyed her satisfaction that “the cruel policies included in the deal are not moving forward.”

However, she expressed disappointment that the bill’s failure was more a result of political dysfunction than a principled stand against the inhumane policies it contained.

Maribel Hernández Rivera, director of policy and government affairs for border and immigration at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), described feeling “a sigh of relief” at the bill’s failure.

Rivera characterized the proposed deal as “cruel” and argued that it would have harmed the most vulnerable people in unprecedented ways.

The bipartisan border deal faced opposition from some Senate Republicans who argued that it was not the appropriate solution for regulating the U.S. border. Even if the statute had passed in the U.S. Senate, House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, had deemed the deal “dead on arrival.”

Johnson emphasized the unwillingness to pass immigration legislation that would further incentivize illegal immigration and lacked meaningful reforms in asylum and parole policies.

Amnesty International’s Amy Fischer suggested that Senate Republicans voted against the border legislation not because it was deemed too extreme, but rather, because it wasn’t extreme enough. She asserted that Senate Republicans engaged in political posturing ahead of the upcoming election.

Contrarily, Fischer noted that Senate Democrats did not oppose the legislation due to pressure to align with the Biden-Harris administration. She remarked that the vote appeared to be less about substance and more about political considerations.

The failed bipartisan deal, known as the “Border Act,” aimed to ramp up border enforcement, curtail asylum rights for migrants, and grant the Department of Homeland Security authority to partially shut down the border if the daily average of illegal crossings exceeded 5,000 over a week. The proposal faced criticism for its potentially detrimental impact on vulnerable populations seeking refuge in the United States.

Azadeh Erfani, senior policy analyst at the National Immigrant Justice Center, characterized the border deal as “gut-wrenching” and emphasized the significant impact it would have had on Black and brown migrants. She argued that the bill created substantial hurdles for minorities seeking protection in the United States.

In a statement last month, President Biden framed the proposed border deal as a “win for America” and suggested it would represent “the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border” in the nation’s history.

With the bill’s failure, the administration may face increased pressure to explore alternative strategies and engage in more comprehensive discussions regarding immigration reform. The defeat of the legislation underscores the ongoing challenge of finding common ground on immigration policies in a deeply divided political landscape.

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Written by Aliyah Collins