Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) denounced the Senate’s bipartisan border security and foreign policy agreement on Sunday, claiming that the deal is nothing more than a retread of Trump administration policy.
The package includes significant reforms for the asylum process, a presidential emergency declaration to shutter the border and other immigration changes in addition to foreign aid funding.
“After months of a negotiating process that lacked transparency or the involvement of a single border-state Democrat or member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, it is no surprise that this border deal misses the mark,” Padilla said in a statement. “The deal includes a new version of a failed Trump-era immigration policy that will cause more chaos at the border, not less.”
The deal, announced Sunday evening, immediately faced mountains of criticism from House Republicans. Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) said that the House will not put the bill up for a vote if it passes the Senate, saying it does not go far enough.
House Democrats have also gone after the deal, especially members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and Progressive Caucus.
Earlier Sunday, the progressive Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said that she is unlikely to vote in favor of the measure.
“Congressional Republicans continue to push enforcement-only strategies that have failed for decades,” she said on X, formerly Twitter. “The extreme MAGA Republican Party has absolutely zero interest in actually fixing our immigration system.”
In December, during early negotiations over the deal, CHC Chair Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-Calif.) joined Padilla in a joint statement criticizing an early form of the agreement.
“We are deeply concerned that the President would consider advancing Trump-era immigration policies that Democrats fought so hard against — and that he himself campaigned against — in exchange for aid to our allies that Republicans already support,” the pair wrote. “Caving to the demands for these permanent damaging policy changes as a ‘price to be paid’ for an unrelated one-time spending package would set a dangerous precedent.”
President Biden endorsed the deal on Sunday, praising “around the clock” work on negotiations.
“Now we’ve reached an agreement on a bipartisan national security deal that includes the toughest and fairest set of border reforms in decades. I strongly support it,” Biden wrote in a statement.
“I urge Congress to come together and swiftly pass this bipartisan agreement. Get it to my desk so I can sign it into law immediately,” he said.
“Now, House Republicans have to decide. Do they want to solve the problem? Or do they want to keep playing politics with the border? I’ve made my decision. I’m ready to solve the problem. I’m ready to secure the border. And so are the American people,” Biden wrote.
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