Senate Democrats at odds with Schumer over border talks: ‘Terribly mistaken’

Some progressive Democrats are at odds with Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., over the ongoing negotiations that aim to add stricter border policy provisions in the national supplemental package.  On Friday, White House officials, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Ct., Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., and aides to Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., met in the Capitol for the second time this week to continue negotiations.  But the discussions are not sitting well with several Democratic senators, who worry that their party will make too many concessions to Republican demands for policy changes. “If [Schumer] thinks he can send us home for the weekend, quietly cave to Republicans’ anti-immigrant demands while nobody is watching, and then ambush Democrats expecting us to vote yes with a smile, he is TERRIBLY MISTAKEN,” Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., — who is facing federal bribery charges — wrote on X on Thursday.  MIGRANT ENCOUNTERS AGAIN TOP 10K IN A SINGLE DAY AS LAWMAKERS EYE NEW BORDER LIMITS “[Schumer]and those Democrats who are contemplating these proposals need to understand that these Trumpian policies will do nothing to address our challenges at the border and will only exacerbate the problem. Immigration advocates should speak up — HELL NO is the message,” he continued.  Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., told Axios that what Democrats are hearing “is very concerning.”  Former House Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is now running for governor of Texas, said on X: “If Democrats agree to these failed Trump immigration policies” it will cause increased crossing attempts, more migrant deaths and “depressed enthusiasm from progressive voters.”  “This is a bad deal. Senate Dems and WH should reject it,” he wrote Friday.  Schumer indicated Friday that he would rework the “shell” of the supplemental package to advance the proposed border provisions, which have not been agreed to yet. However, with few details on which provisions will make it into the package, The Hill reported that Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., “is very concerned” about the details.  He added, “We don’t know who’s going to be president” after 2024, leaving in limbo which party will be spearheading the enforcement of the new policies.  Talks have been ongoing with senators and Biden administration officials this week, as Republicans have refused to pass some $60 billion in additional aid to Ukraine unless it is tied to strict border security measures, such as immediate screenings for asylum processing and quicker expulsions for illegal entrants. The total amount of supplemental aid the White House first requested in October amounts to roughly $106 billion and includes $14 billion to assist Israel.  SCHUMER ANNOUNCES SENATE WILL CANCEL PART OF HOLIDAY RECESS AS BORDER TALKS CONTINUE Lawmakers in the upper chamber were expected to recess Thursday, but Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced that the Senate would cancel part of its holiday recess and stay in town to continue the negotiations and schedule a vote on the supplemental package next week. Lankford, one of the lead negotiators for the GOP, told Fox News Digital in an interview this week that there are “basic elements” to tighten border security that Republicans are asking for: reform asylum processing by conducting immediate screenings, increasing detention beds for processing, and beefing up border patrol.  The administration was reportedly open to a nationwide expansion of expedited removal, which allows for recently entered migrants to be quickly removed if they do not meet the initial asylum standard. Rapid expulsions are currently only being used near the border.  GOP LAWMAKERS SKEPTICAL ABOUT VOTING ON BORDER DEAL BEFORE CHRISTMAS AS DEMS THREATEN TO DELAY BREAK  CBS reported this week that the White House was willing to mandate the detention of certain migrants as their claims are considered, as well as a new Title 42-style authority. Title 42 was the COVID-era order that allowed for the rapid expulsion of migrants at the southern border until the Biden administration ended the policy in May. Meanwhile, migrant encounters at the southern border again topped 10,000 encounters in a single day on Tuesday, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources told Fox News. Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Bill Melugin contributed to this report. 
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