The Biden administration is considering getting behind new restrictions on who can seek asylum and an expanded deportation process to secure new aid for Ukraine and Israel in a supplemental funding bill, a source familiar with discussions said, Ednews informs referring to Reuters.
The White House and US Congress are racing to strike a deal that would deliver military aid to the two allied nations while discouraging illegal immigration across the US-Mexico border with only a week until lawmakers depart for a Christmas break.
Republicans have refused to approve more Ukraine funding without additional measures to reduce the record number of migrants attempting to cross the US border illegally, leading to a complex negotiation pairing the largely unrelated issues.
President Joe Biden, a Democrat seeking reelection in 2024, said on Wednesday that he would be willing to make significant concessions on border security as Senate Republicans rejected a Democratic aid package with $20 billion in border funding.
The White House would be open to heightening the standard for initial asylum screenings, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters, requesting anonymity to discuss the talks.
The Biden administration also would entertain some form of a "safe third country" provision that would deny asylum to migrants who pass through another country en route to the US, the source said.
Another possible point of agreement could be expanding a fast-track deportation process known as "expedited removal." The authority would be employed nationwide instead of its current application at the border, the source said.
A bipartisan group of senators trying to reach a deal are also discussing a numerical limitation on asylum claims, the source said. The Biden administration position on such a cap remains unclear.