Migrants along the Rio Grande
A migrant family from Venezuela breaks through a razor wire barricade into the United States on the Rio Grande river in Eagle Pass, Texas, on September 25, 2023 AFP

Senators released on Sunday the highly anticipated bill that pairs wartime aid to Ukraine and Israel with border security measures.

However, the $118 billion package has a slim chance of passing, as some high ranking Republicans, former President Donald Trump and House Speaker Mike Johnson, have already spoken against it.

Democrats favor the bill, with President Joe Biden saying the initiative "will make our country safer, make our border more secure, treat people fairly and humanely while preserving legal immigration, consistent with our values as a nation."

Moreover, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the bill is a "monumental step" toward strengthening national security both at an internal and external level.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is among Republicans who worker to present a bill. "America's sovereignty is being tested here at home, and our credibility is being tested by emboldened adversaries around the world. The challenges we face will not resolve themselves, nor will our adversaries wait for America to muster the resolve to meet them."

Regarding border security measures, The Associated Press reported that the bill would "overhaul the asylum system at the border with faster and tougher enforcement, as well as give presidents new powers to immediately expel migrants if authorities become overwhelmed with the number of people applying for asylum."

If illegal crossings surpasses the 5,000 figure for five straight days on average, an authority would begin automatically and reject migrants even before making asylum claims. If the figure reaches 4,000, the government would have the ability to do so.

Migrants trying to reach the US near Juarez
Migrants trying to reach the United States are seen near the US-Mexico border, in Ciudad Juarez. Reuters

Overall, $20 billion would be allocated to immigration enforcement. The figure includes hiring thousands of new officers to evaluate asylum claims and hundreds of Border Patrol agents. It would also destine money to shelters and cities across the U.S. where thousands of migrants have arrived in the past months.

However, even though Democrats have showed willingness to toughen their stance on the border, Trump and his allies began to criticize the bill as negotiations progressed. Johnson said the initiative would be dead on arrival to the House. Trump, on his end, explicitly saying that the party shouldn't do any deal "at all, unless we get EVERYTHING."

The momentum is moving against the negotiators, with Punchbowl News reporting on Thursday that "Senate Minority Whip John Thune explicitly and repeatedly told Republicans that things are heading in the wrong direction."

The bill needs 60 votes to break a filibuster in the Senate, but Republicans want to get at least 25 votes to give their support.

President Joe Biden, on his end, pressured Republicans to pass the deal, saying that is willing to exercise the ability to shut down the border if it's passed.

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