Senate unveils $118 billion global security package with immigration reform

The U.S. Senate has released a bipartisan bill that combines a major overhaul of the immigration system with critical aid to Ukraine, Israel and other allies. The package, which is backed by President Joe Biden, faces opposition from some Republicans and Democrats.

What’s in the bill?

The bill, which is nearly 400 pages long, contains four main components:

  • $60 billion in aid for Ukraine to help the country defend itself against Russian aggression. The aid includes military equipment, training, intelligence sharing and economic assistance.
  • $14 billion in aid for Israel to support its security and counter Iran’s influence in the region. The aid includes funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system, the David’s Sling medium-range air defense system and the Arrow-3 long-range missile defense system.
  • $44.28 billion in funding for various global security initiatives, such as humanitarian assistance for refugees, counterterrorism programs, cybersecurity efforts and support for allies in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • A bipartisan immigration reform that aims to reduce the record-high number of migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border and streamline the asylum process. The reform would raise the bar for migrants claiming asylum, curb the White House’s use of parole authority to temporarily grant protections to migrants, and end the practice of allowing migrants to live in the U.S. while they wait for their cases to be heard by an immigration judge.

Senate unveils $118 billion global security package with immigration reform

Why is it important?

The bill is the result of months of negotiations between Senate Republicans and Democrats, as well as the Biden administration. It is seen as a last-ditch effort to approve money for Ukraine’s defense before Russia potentially invades the country. It is also seen as a rare opportunity to make changes to the U.S. immigration system, which has been overwhelmed by a surge of migrants fleeing violence, poverty and climate change in their home countries.

The bill has the support of President Biden, who praised the senators for reaching a compromise. “This package is a testament to the power of bipartisanship and the strength of our shared values,” Biden said in a statement. “It is a demonstration of America’s commitment to our allies and partners, and a recognition of the strategic challenges we face in the 21st century.”

What are the challenges?

The bill faces a difficult, if not impossible, path to passage. It needs at least 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster, and it is unclear if it has enough support from both parties. Some Republicans have said the immigration reform does not go far enough to secure the border and enforce the law. Some Democrats have said the immigration reform goes too far to restrict the rights of migrants and asylum seekers.

The bill also faces strong opposition from former President Donald Trump, who has urged Republicans to reject it unless it is “perfect.” Trump has also falsely claimed that the bill would allow 5,000 illegal border crossings per day, as he seeks to use the border crisis as a political weapon in a likely 2024 rematch against Biden.

The bill may also face resistance in the House, where some progressive and Hispanic lawmakers have complained that they have been shut out of the negotiations. They have also expressed concerns that the bill would concede too much to the Republicans and undermine the humanitarian values of the U.S.

What’s next?

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said he plans to bring the bill to the floor for a vote this week. He has urged his colleagues to support the bill, saying it is a matter of national security and moral responsibility. “This is a moment of truth for the Senate and for America,” Schumer said. “We have a chance to stand with our allies, stand up to our adversaries, and fix our broken immigration system. We cannot let this opportunity slip away.”


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