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Immigration reform advocates look to future as foreign aid bill passes without border funding

Border Asylum Limits
Posted at 5:28 PM, Apr 24, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — While it once seemed as if immigration reform would be tied to passage of any foreign package, the bill that President Biden signed Wednesday left border funding out, making immigration reform advocates pessimistic that any meaningful action will be taken this year.

“Extremely frustrating that we’re having to turn the page on this. We’re sitting in the same place," said Pedro Rios of the American Friends Service Committee. "Hopefully, after the election we’ll have much more sensible elected officials who will look at this seriously and contemplate how to reach deals on comprehensive immigration reform.”

When the debate over foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan began, House Republicans insisted they would only take up the issue if it was paired with border security. A long stalemate was broken when Democrats agreed to negotiations.

A bipartisan agreement was eventually reached in the Senate; however, the bill failed after former president Donald Trump convinced enough House Republicans to vote no and push for a better deal if he is elected in November. Foreign aid finally passed this week, sans border reform.

“Politics killed it, unfortunately... but the good news is there are a lot of congressmembers who want to do something that is the right thing," said Mario H. Lopez of the Hispanic Leadership Fund.

Lopez was part of a presentation Wednesday with several center-right-aligned groups through the National Immigration Forum. The group presented its framework for a possible border deal if and when Congress attempts to tackle the issue in the future.

The framework includes more resources at the border, including speeding up the process for asylum applications, creating a more orderly immigration and asylum process and battling crime.

Lopez says they realize any action on immigration is now unlikely until after the election. However, he believes there is enough support and frustration for spur action, provided voters insist on it.

He suggests calling your congressmember and demanding more than just fiery speeches on the immigration issue.

“Let them know, not just that you’re frustrated, but also that you expect them to roll up their sleeves and work, and that means working with the other side of the aisle," Lopez says.

You can read more about the National immigration Forum's border policy proposals here.