Even as leading immigration officials call the U.S. immigration system broken, Congress is scrambling for a deal that would greatly restrict the asylum and humanitarian parole process, the Associated Press reports. The Biden administration is considering the long-shot effort as the price to be paid for the president’s $106 billion year-end request for Ukraine, Israel and national security needs. It comes as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the face of the administration’s immigration policy, bears down the threat of impeachment proceedings from House Republicans over what they view as failed border policies.
A core group of senators has been eying a deal that would provide money for the wars overseas in exchange for changes to the asylum process and in particular humanitarian parole, which has been a go-to tool by the Biden administration to manage the swell of migrants at the border, but is being challenged in court. The senators have discussed making it tougher for migrants to pass initial screening used by asylum officers to decide whether a person can stay in the U.S. to pursue their asylum case. The idea is to raise the threshold during what’s known as the initial credible fear interview for asylum claims from a “significant possibility” of success before an immigration judge to “more likely than not.” While an overwhelming majority of asylum-seekers clear the initial interviews, the final approval rate is much lower.