Republican senators are opposing a $118 billion border deal announced on Sunday night after months of negotiations as lawmakers seek to address an increase in migrant arrivals at the US-Mexico border. The bipartisan bill would address key concerns at the southern border by increasing ICE detention capacity from 34,000 to 50,000 and allocating $20 billion for immigration enforcement. It also includes $14 billion in aid to Israel, $60 billion for Ukraine, $4.83 billion for Indo-Pacific countries, and $10 billion in humanitarian assistance for Ukraine, Gaza, and the West Bank.
Congressional negotiators sought to strike a balance between border-strengthening measures favoured by Republicans in the House of Representatives and immigration reform supported by Democrats in the Senate. Given the current state of the government, both political parties would need to support the bill for it to pass. However, the bill is already being scrutinised by many conservatives.
At least 11 Senate Republicans have spoken out against the bill, claiming it does not go far enough on border security. Meanwhile, it faces stiff opposition in the House, where Speaker Mike Johnson described it as “worse than we expected.” Newsweek has contacted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office via email for comment.
Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that she will “not support this deal” and “never vote to legalise illegal immigration” after the legislation was announced. Ted Cruz of Texas responded to the bill on X, indicating that he would not support the bill in its current form. Steve Daines of Montana was the first member of the Republican leadership to oppose the bill, writing, “I can’t support a bill that doesn’t secure the border, provides taxpayer-funded lawyers to illegal immigrants, and gives billions to radical open border groups.” I am a no.”
Josh Hawley of Missouri expressed several concerns about the legislation Sunday night, calling it an “open borders bill.” He slammed the bill for imposing no new restrictions on unaccompanied minors crossing the border and granting undocumented immigrants expedited work permits. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin wrote in a post to X that the bill “appears even worse than we feared.” Mike Lee of Utah warned Senate Republican leadership about the bill, describing it as “disqualifying.” Rand Paul of Kentucky said he would vote against the bill, calling it “anti-American.” Marco Rubio of Florida called the agreement an “easy no” that “reads like a parody of an actual border security bill.” Rick Scott of Florida stated that the legislation “looks more like an immigration bill, not a border security bill.” In a post to X, Missouri Senator Eric Schmitt urged 41 senators to “stand firm” and prevent the bill from passing.