Washington, DC — There’s renewed attention to the Senate supplemental funding negotiations following a failed procedural vote yesterday and given the stakes and urgency of aid to Ukraine and other allies. As Politico detailed, “Democrats believe it’s misleading to argue that Democrats are getting Ukraine funding in exchange for border policies, those lawmakers argue, since Republicans also support aid for Kyiv … ‘Republicans are taking, literally, Europe hostage in exchange for border concessions,’ Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) told reporters. ‘And you guys come to us and say: ‘What are you going to do about the hostage taking?’’”
The following is a statement from Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice, reacting to the latest state of play on Capitol Hill and stakes:
“The Biden administration and Democrats shouldn’t give in to Republicans’ extreme demands that are not good policy nor made in good faith. A supermajority of the Senate already supports Ukraine aid. Bipartisan compromise doesn’t mean exchanging popular aid for our allies for permanent and cruel immigration and asylum policy changes that Republicans solely get to define.
Remember, there are important border and asylum issues Congress can and should address in the supplemental that would not make the asylum system nearly inaccessible, increase detention of children and families, and add to border chaos by ending parole programs and restricting lawful migration pathways. None of what Republicans are pushing for equates to ‘border security’ or would promote an orderly and safe border and no Democrats should be joining them in these extreme and cruel demands.
Most Americans agree we need to aid our allies fighting for democracy in Ukraine and that anything that delays that, like a protracted debate on border and immigration policies, is a bad idea. But making permanent restrictions on border and immigration policy in the context of an emergency in Europe is also a very bad idea.
We need a full modernization of our immigration system, but that process needs to take place via regular order and involve a full-scale set of policy reforms – not the grab bag of Donald Trump and Stephen Miller policies that Republicans are solely defining and trying to shoehorn into the supplemental.”
- Access speaker quotes and an audio recording from a press call yesterday with national security and immigration experts: “What’s at Stake with Delaying Ukrainian Aid for Permanent Asylum and Immigration Changes“
- Read American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) policy briefs on multiple policy issues at stake: “What Would Be the Impact of Capping Asylum?” and “Asylum Credible Fear Standard” and “Barriers to Immigrant Visas Driving Migrants to the Southern Border”