Democrats Clash Over Move to Add Asylum Changes to War Funding Bill


Democrats and Republicans are also discussing whether to expand requirements that asylum seekers apply for protections in “safe third countries” they pass through on the way to the United States, or risk expulsion to those countries.

But Republicans are also seeking far more aggressive steps, including changes to parole, the practice of allowing migrants who may not be eligible for U.S. residency to be released from detention into the country for a temporary period. They want to reinstitute an array of Trump-era policies, including family detention and protocols that forced individuals who could not be held in detention facilities to wait in Mexico until it is their turn to appear in immigration court.

“We need to have language on parole — so much so that I’m willing to deny moving on to any supplemental, probably all of which I would support that has Israel and Ukraine in it, absent this,” said Senator Thom Tillis, Republican of North Carolina, and one of the chief G.O.P. negotiators. “We have to have something that we think, taken together, is going to substantially reduce future flows.”

Democrats, including the White House, have given no indication that they would be open to changing parole policy, at least not without concessions from Republicans on some of their priorities to soften the blow.

Mr. Murphy, who has been at the center of the parole negotiations along with Senator James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, suggested adding a measure to put certain immigrants brought to the country unlawfully as children on a pathway to citizenship. But the proposal to help that group, which has legal status under a program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, was summarily shot down by the Republicans in the room.

“You come to me and tell me we have to have DACA and a path to citizenship in this bill, it will be the last discussion you have with me on border security,” Mr. Tillis said. “This is not about immigration. This is about fixing a disaster that even Biden knows, if he doesn’t make progress, there’s going to be electoral consequences next year.”

Eileen Sullivan contributed reporting.


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