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Statement from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Senate Plans to White House. Vote on the Bipartisan Border Security Agreement

On May 20, 2024, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre highlighted President Biden’s consistent efforts to overhaul the immigration system, including the introduction of a comprehensive reform plan on his first day in office and the recent bipartisan agreement on significant border security measures. She emphasized the need for Senate support to pass this legislation, which includes increasing Border Patrol and Customs personnel, enhancing technology to combat drug trafficking, and improving asylum case processing​.
At the same time, Biden’s opponents argue that to stop the border crisis, Joe Biden simply needs to fulfill his constitutional duties rather than using the border service to organize the reception of migrants.


From his first day in office, President Biden has called on Congress to fix our broken immigration system. That’s why he introduced a comprehensive immigration reform plan on day 1. And that’s why, earlier this year, his Administration reached a bipartisan agreement on the toughest and fairest set of reforms in decades.

This bipartisan border legislation would deliver the significant policy changes, resources, and personnel needed to secure our border and make our country safer. It would add thousands of additional Border Patrol Agents and Customs and Border Protection personnel; it would invest in technology to catch fentanyl and go after drug traffickers; add asylum officers and immigration judgesto improve the adjudication of asylum cases so they are resolved in a few months and not years; establish a temporary emergency authority to shut down the border when the system is overwhelmed; and expand access to lawful immigration pathways while expediting access to work authorization for those eligible.

We strongly support this legislation and call on every Senator to put partisan politics aside and vote to secure the border.

May 20 2024 Washington DC


The bipartisan border security agreement is a proposed bill in the U.S. Senate that aims to address border security concerns and provide funding for related measures. Here are the key provisions of the agreement:

Border Security Measures

  • Hire over 1,500 new Customs and Border Protection personnel and 4,300 new asylum officers[1]
  • Increase immigration detention beds from 40,000 to 50,000[1]
  • Fund 100 new immigration judges and staff to reduce case backlogs[1]
  • Install 100 new inspection machines at ports of entry to detect fentanyl and other drugs[1]
  • Give the president authority to impose sanctions on those involved in fentanyl trafficking[1]

Asylum Process Changes

  • Expedite asylum processing to reduce wait times from 5-7 years to around 6 months[1][2]
  • Increase scrutiny of asylum applicants to screen some out of the process more quickly[2]

Immigration Provisions

  • Allow an additional 50,000 immigrant visas per year over the next 5 years[2]
  • Establish faster pathways to permanent status for Afghan refugees in the U.S.[2]
  • Provide $1.4 billion in aid for cities/states providing services to immigrants[1]

Border Closure Provisions

  • Allow the president to temporarily close the border if migrant encounters exceed 4,000 per day for a week[2]
  • Automatically close the border if encounters exceed 5,000 per day on average for a week or 8,500 on any single day[2]

The agreement also includes $60 billion in military aid for Ukraine’s defense against Russia, as well as security assistance for Israel and funding related to the Indo-Pacific region.[3][4][5]

[1] https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2024/02/29/fact-sheet-impact-of-bipartisan-border-agreement-funding-on-border-operations/
[2] https://www.closeup.org/the-congressional-border-deal/
[3] https://www.dhs.gov/news/2024/02/04/statement-secretary-mayorkas-bipartisan-national-security-agreement-us-senate
[4] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/2/5/us-senate-border-security-bill-what-you-need-to-know
[5] https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-senate-unveils-118-billion-bipartisan-bill-tighten-border-security-aid-2024-02-04/

Criticisms: Here are the key criticisms of the bipartisan border security agreement

The deal is an “amnesty” that would “import more illegal alien job competitors against American workers.”[1] They criticized provisions like increasing legal immigration and expediting asylum processing as being too lenient.

The Nebraska Examiner:
This article highlighted the opposition from the conservative House Freedom Caucus members like Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who said the deal “fails to secure the border or fix our laws.”[2] It also noted how former President Trump urged Republicans to tank the “very bad border deal.”

Fox News Opinion:
Personalities like Laura Ingraham labeled it a “mass amnesty plan” that would “reward illegal immigration on an unprecedented scale.”[2] Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump slammed it as “a disaster” failing to secure the border.[2]

In essence, most right-wing media portrayed the bipartisan compromise as an “amnesty” that failed to truly secure the border, despite its stringent security provisions. Their unrelenting criticism, especially from the influential Trump, is what ultimately doomed the deal’s chances of passing in the Senate by turning many Republicans against it.[3][4][5]

[1] https://apnews.com/article/congress-ukraine-aid-border-security-386dcc54b29a5491f8bd87b727a284f8
[2] https://nebraskaexaminer.com/2024/04/18/border-security-bill-fails-to-lift-u-s-house-conservatives-block-of-foreign-aid-package/
[3] https://www.npr.org/2024/01/31/1228229591/senate-gop-split-risks-bipartisan-border-deal-as-trump-looms-large
[4] https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/new-immigration-bill-senate-bipartisan-border-patrol-endorsement-rcna137354
[5] https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/senate-republicans-block-bipartisan-border-package-scrapping-deal-they-had-demanded-from-democrats

Republican Party Criticisms

  • Many Senate Republicans opposed the deal, arguing it was not strong enough on border security measures despite giving the president broad powers to restrict migrant crossings.[1][2][3]
  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) called it “a bad bill” that “doesn’t solve the problem” and allows “Joe Biden to continue the open borders.”[1]
  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) stated “We still need to secure America’s borders before sending another dime overseas”, referring to the aid for Ukraine included in the package.[3]
  • House Republicans, including Speaker Mike Johnson, rejected the deal as insufficient on border policies despite initially demanding such provisions be tied to Ukraine aid.[3][5]

Conservative Media Criticisms

  • Conservative media outlets portrayed the deal as a “green light for 5,000 additional migrants a day” at the border.[1]
  • They criticized the asylum process changes and increases in immigration visas as being too lenient.[2]

Donald Trump’s Criticisms

  • Trump, the likely 2024 Republican presidential nominee, was publicly slamming the deal and urging lawmakers to oppose it.[1]
  • His attacks on the bill as too weak caused many Republican senators to withdraw their initial support out of fear of going against the party’s leader.[1][2]
  • Trump wanted to keep the border crisis unresolved so he could exploit it as a campaign issue in 2024 rather than allowing a bipartisan compromise.[2]

In essence, the Republican party’s conservative wing, right-leaning media, and Trump himself criticized the deal as being inadequate for securing the border, despite it containing stringent measures that would have been the “most restrictive migrant legislation in decades.”[2] Their opposition ultimately doomed the bipartisan agreement in the Senate.[3][4][5]

[1] https://www.npr.org/2024/01/31/1228229591/senate-gop-split-risks-bipartisan-border-deal-as-trump-looms-large
[2] https://www.cnn.com/2024/02/07/politics/senate-border-ukraine-israel-aid-vote/index.html
[3] https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/senate-republicans-block-bipartisan-border-package-scrapping-deal-they-had-demanded-from-democrats
[4] https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/07/briefing/republican-border-bill-ukraine.html
[5] https://apnews.com/article/congress-border-security-ukraine-a39e188fa2c6a563203d2c69eaabdc6d

Source: Midtown Tribune news – WH.gov

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