Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images.

The Senate announced it delayed its holiday break to continue working towards a deal on immigration, the key hurdle to unblock a funding package including aid for Ukraine and Israel in their respective wars against Russia and Hamas.

The announcement came after negotiators from both parties showed some signs of optimism regarding the issue. The House, on its end, has adjourned for Christmas recess and plans to return in the new year.

"Over the last few days, negotiations on a path forward to getting the national security supplemental done have made good progress. As I have said, if we believe something is important and urgent we should stay and get the job done," Schumer said.

"So for the information of all senators, after we finish today, the Senate will return on Monday," he added. "That will give negotiators from the White House, Senate Democrats, and Senate Republicans a time to work through the weekend in an effort to reach a framework agreement."

On his end, " Republican Senator James Lankford, from Oklahoma and the GOP's lead negotiator, said that "we're going to work as long as there's daylight." "We've got to get text done," added Lankford, but clarifying that House Republicans have "got to see it" before they consider whether to support it.

The advance in the negotiations comes after the Biden administration indicated to congressional lawmakers that it would be willing to back the implementation of harder measures at the border in exchange for Republican support to its broad aid package, according to a CBS report.

U.S. President Joe Biden visits El Paso
U.S. President Joe Biden in El Paso. Photo by: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Concretely, the government could support a broader border authority to expel migrants without asylum screenings and a drastic expansion of detentions and deportations, the report said, citing four people familiar with the conversations.

The White House indicated it would 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.

Biden's position has put him at odds with members of his own party, with members from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) saying on Monday that they are "deeply concerned" about the negotiations.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.