GOP pushes for major changes to US immigration policy

You don’t have to live near the border to be concerned about the border: Migrants are showing up by the busload in major cities like New York, Chicago and Denver. So let’s examine some of the immigration changes Republicans are calling for.

Republicans have long held the border as a top priority. Now, the House GOP compiled their immigration policy proposals into one sweeping piece of legislation — HR 2, the Secure the Border Act.

That bill, as passed by the House in May, would require border wall construction to resume, deploy new technology at ports of entry, limit the use of the CBP One app, make it a crime to overstay a visa and end funding for organizations that help migrants after they’re in the U.S.

HR 2 would also make it harder to qualify for asylum by raising the credible fear threshold, requiring asylum seekers to pay a new fee and keeping them in detention while their application is being processed.

Texas Rep. Tony Gonzales, whose district includes a large swath of the U.S.-Mexico border, said he thinks the conversation around immigration is different this time around.

“One of the things that I’ve been pushing for is the federal government to deport people that are here illegally. I’ve also been pushing for legal immigration and increasing, you know, immigration judges and getting those cases heard. These are all tangible solutions,” said Rep. Gonzales.

In the Senate, border security talks are happening among a bipartisan group of negotiators and the White House. The goal is to combine a border deal with aid to Ukraine and Israel.

“Now we are having, we believe, a very productive conversation in Congress with senators on how do we move forward in a bipartisan agreement to deal with the border security,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

Any bipartisan deal in the Senate is likely to fall short of the hard-line positions House Republicans set out in their bill. That means the road ahead for any immigration deal in Congress is likely a tough one.