US President Joe Biden AFP

The Biden administration is seeking to reassure Hispanic lawmakers about its intention to resist demands from Republicans about limiting its authority to release migrants through parole, according to a report from Axios on Wednesday.

The stance could further complicate border negotiations with Republicans, who are seeking broad concessions on this area to pass a wide-ranging aid package including funding for Ukraine and Israel in their respective wars against Russia and Hamas.

Some Latino lawmakers have voiced their frustration at the Biden administration over its negotiation with Republicans over border measures, both because of their potential extent and the fact that they haven't been more involved in the talks.

Members from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) said that they are "deeply concerned" about the negotiations, especially after President Biden said he was willing to make "significant concessions" on the issue.

"We hear a lot of what concessions are we giving to Republicans, when there is not really any 'gets' on our side," Senator Alex Padilla told Axios. Senator Bob Menéndez also talked to the outlet, saying "that's not a negotiation. That's a hostage taking" and "the question is how far you're going to let them take you hostage."

Different reports indicated that the White House could be willing to support a new law to allow U.S. border officials to summarily expel migrants without processing their asylum claims. This would effectively revive the Trump-era Title 42 pandemic order and allow officials to pause U.S. asylum law without a public health justification.

The administration would also back an expansion of a process known as expedited removal, which allows officials to deport migrants without court hearings if they don't ask for asylum or if they fail their initial asylum interviews. The program is currently limited to the border region. It would also detain certain migrants allowed into the country pending the adjudication of their claims.

Even though both parties seemed to be getting closer to an agreement, with Senate negotiators working through the weekend to reach a deal, officials said on Tuesday that there will not be a breakthrough before the end of the year.

Chuck Schumer
U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on Capitol Hill. Reuters

"As negotiators work through remaining issues, it is our hope that their efforts will allow the Senate to take swift action... early in the new year," Democrat Chuck Schumer and Republican Mitch McConnell said in a joint statement.

"Challenging issues remain, but we are committed to addressing needs at the southern border and to helping allies and partners confront serious threats in Israel, Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific. The Senate will not let these national security challenges go unanswered," it added.

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