Congressional Updates

Resources Related to the Senate Bipartisan Border Bill

2/7/24 AILA Doc. No. 24020431. Admissions & Border, Asylum, Removal & Relief

Update from AILA on February 7, 2024

On February 7, the Senate voted down the immigration funding and policy provisions that were included in the larger emergency spending bill (The Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act). The immigration components were separated from the larger bill when it became clear that the entire bill would fail due to the hardening Republican opposition to the immigration parts. The vote was 49 voting in favor and 50 voting against with most Democrats voting in favor and most Republicans voting against. Democratic Senators Menendez, Padilla, Markey, Warren, and Sanders voted NO. Republican Senators Lankford, Murkowski, Collins, and Romney voted YES. Democratic Leader Schumer also voted NO, but only for procedural reasons so he can bring it back up quickly in the future. It is highly unlikely the border funding and immigration policy provisions will pass anytime in the near future. Republican leadership has made it clear they will only support the House bill H.R.2, an extreme measure which AILA opposes and could never pass the Senate.


On Sunday night, Senate negotiators unveiled a bipartisan deal to address the U.S.-Mexico border as well as foreign aid to Ukraine. The 370-bill is the result of months of negotiations led by Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ). 

Watch for more information as its available.

Media Coverage

  • ABC News: Amid battle over Senate border bill, here's how it would overhaul the system
    By Quinn Owen
    "I view this proposal as the opening of an opportunity to get the reform we need," the executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Ben Johnson, said on Monday. "But to get there, at the end of the day, we're going to need a lot less dangerous and, quite frankly, inaccurate language from politicians around this issue and around this particular proposal."
    "And unfortunately, as we saw back then, these encampments ... they'll be unsafe and unsanitary," American Immigration Lawyers Association Senior Director for Government Relations Greg Chen said. "Cartels will likely prey upon these individuals. And so we'll have an increase of crime and violence due to that. It's also not clear that it's going to be an effective deterrent."
  • CNN: What the border bill would and wouldn’t do
    By Catherine Schoichet
    “The bill is probably the most extensive border funding and security package that we’ve seen in decades,” says Greg Chen, senior director of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “These are massive resources that will be given to DHS and other immigration agencies on the order of essentially $20 billion.”
  • New York Times: Trump Couldn’t Shut Down the Border. Can Biden?
    By Michael Schear
    “The idea that the president could accomplish most or all of this through executive authority is just flatly wrong,” said Ben Johnson, the executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “By every measure, constructive solutions using executive authority alone just don’t exist in this particular moment.”
  • Politico: Biden’s border win
    By Myah Ward, Lauren Egan, and Ben Johansen
    “When we started with this back in October, the Republicans were hell bent on stripping the executive branch and the president of the authority to use the section of the immigration law — the humanitarian parole section — in the way that he has to designate programs for Ukrainians, Afghans and other nationals of other countries to be able to come here” said GREG CHEN, senior director of government relations at the American Immigration Lawyers Association.