Rubio Files Border Enforcement Amendments to Sweeping Spending Bill

Rubio Files Border Enforcement Amendments to Sweeping Spending Bill

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
February 12, 2024

A $95 billion foreign aid package containing aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan surmounted a key procedural vote on Superbowl Sunday. 

The spending bill had been procedurally frozen by a cohort of conservatives, but eventually passed by a vote count of 67-27. 

Last week, a border security deal failed to pass the Senate as conservatives refused to support the initiative due to complaints of lax border enforcement measures. 

The latest passage of the foreign aid bill has prompted even more criticism from Republicans, who are accusing Democrats of prioritizing foreign affairs over national security. 

US Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) criticized the foreign aid bill for failing to fund border enforcement.

“Democrats have turned every community into a border community by supporting Biden’s radical illegal immigration agenda that’s sending deadly drugs and terrorists into our neighborhoods,” said Senator Scott. 

Meanwhile, Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer emphasized the dire need for supporting America’s allies abroad. 

"As we speak, [Russian President] Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine has rendered parts of eastern Europe a war zone, the likes of which we have not seen in those regions since the second World War," Schumer said.

Aside from granting $481 million for refugee and immigrant arrival social services, the foreign aid bill does not include any immigration or border enforcement measures. 

Given the failure of last week’s border deal, some Republicans are seeking to include border security provisions in the upcoming foreign aid bill. 

US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) filed five amendments relating to border security to the aid package.

The First Amendment compels the Department of Homeland Security to prohibit the entry of any immigrants without a valid visa. 

The second and third allow for the deportation of non-citizens who are convicted of driving while intoxicated or impaired, as well as those shown to have participated or assisted in Hamas’ October 7th attacks.

Finally, the fourth and fifth would impose targeted sanctions on Hamas and related Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) and generally raise asylum processing requirements.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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