Schumer Plans to Revive Lankford's Controversial Border Bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to revive Sen. James Lankford's border bill, which would provide $20 billion for border security and expand expulsion authority. The bill's fate has significant implications for the country's immigration policy and border security.

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Nitish Verma
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Schumer Plans to Revive Lankford's Controversial Border Bill

Schumer Plans to Revive Lankford's Controversial Border Bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is planning to bring back Sen. James Lankford's border bill for another vote, putting Lankford in a tough spot amidst criticism that the bill mandates catch and release for almost all immigrants arrested for illegally crossing the southern border. The bipartisan bill, which sank in the Senate earlier this year, would have provided roughly $20 billion for border security, expanded expulsion authority, bolstered asylum standards, and limited catch-and-release practices.

Why this matters: The fate of this bill has significant implications for the country's immigration policy and border security, affecting not only the lives of migrants but also the communities and economies along the border. A successful revival of the bill could set a precedent for future bipartisan cooperation on this contentious issue, potentially paving the way for more comprehensive immigration, reform, wait.

Four Republicans, including Lankford and Sen. Mitt Romney, voted in favor of the bill, while five Democrats voted against it. Senate Democrats say Republicans can either work with them to revive the legislation or be forced to vote it down again in the coming months. "The reality is that they're exposed. They don't want to fix the border. They don't want to have to vote on this again," said Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut who co-sponsored the bill with Lankford.

The debate intensifies as both parties strategize on dealing with the surge in border crossings. The Department of Homeland Security recently unveiled a new policy to fast-track asylum processing at the southern border for migrants with serious alleged crimes or with terrorist links to more quickly deport them. Republicans said the move was the sort of executive action President Joe Biden could continue to take but has largely refused to.

The border crisis has been a top agenda item for Republicans throughout Biden's term, with many calling for more action from the administration. Fifteen Democrats recently wrote a letter to Biden urging him to take additional steps, citing the impact on communities across the country. "Communities across the country are grappling with the fentanyl crisis and struggling to find appropriate shelter and services for those seeking asylum,"the letter stated.

As the 2024 presidential race heats up,immigrationis emerging as a key issue. The Biden campaign has launched digital ads criticizing Trump's family separation policy, while the Trump campaign vows to restore "effective immigration policies." Amidst the partisan divide, there is a growing need for bipartisan immigration reform that brings order to the border while providing a fair path to citizenship for long-term legal immigrants.

The revival of Lankford'sborder billrepresents an earnest attempt at finding a bipartisan approach to the complex issue of immigration. While the bill faced criticism and failed to pass previously, it underscores the importance of compromise and good-faith negotiations in addressing one of the nation's most pressing challenges. As the debate continues, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will need to work together to craft balanced solutions that uphold the rule of law while reflecting the country's values and economic needs.