Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn on Thursday threw his support behind an effort from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to secure border security reforms in any eventual government funding package.
Congress has until the end of the month to avert a government shutdown, though such a development appears increasingly likely amid internal divisions in the House Republican conference over spending targets.
McCarthy this week insisted that any final package ought to include border security provisions such as reinstating the “Remain-in-Mexico” asylum rules, The Hill reported. Cornyn, for his part, echoed that sentiment on Thursday, suggesting that any such provisions ought to emulate a border bill that Republicans have already introduced.
“I’d like as close to H.R. 2 [the Secure the Border Act] as we can possibly get,” Cornyn said. Lawmakers introduced that bill earlier year. Its passage would require the Department of Homeland Security to resume construction of the border wall, bolster the ranks of the Border Patrol, and criminalize visa overstays, among other reforms.
The Remain-in-Mexico policy was a Trump-era regulation requiring asylum seekers to wait in that country for their immigration court date to decide on the merits of their claim. At present, would-be asylees may secure release into the American interior during the interim.
“Basically, I think, it boils down to ending catch and release,” the Texas senator said. “That happens because there’s no reasonable detention of people while their asylum claims are being considered.”
The Senate, earlier this week, approved a continuing resolution to avert a shutdown and delay the broader budgetary battle until Nov. 17, though McCarthy has insisted he will not allow the measure a floor vote in the lower chamber.
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