The current hurdle to securing funding for Ukraine and Israel’s border is the growing influence of Trump.
A proposed agreement to allocate $106 billion in international assistance to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, as well as to impose stricter regulations on immigration that have been collaboratively developed by the White House and bipartisan senators over several months, is at risk of being sabotaged by former President Donald Trump.
Supported by individuals who prioritize immigration as the top concern in the 2024 election, Trump emerged as the winner in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday following his win in Iowa last week.
During his victory speech on Tuesday, Trump stated, “We were correct – immigration is a major issue.” He went on to mention that there are millions of individuals entering the country illegally, including those from prisons and mental institutions, although he did not provide evidence to support these statements.
On his campaign, Trump has employed incendiary rhetoric against immigrants, such as claiming they are “contaminating the essence of our nation.”
The win will probably give the leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination the confidence to use his popularity to sway his party’s lawmakers against making a compromise on immigration.
Last week on the social media platform Truth Social, he stated that he believes we should not proceed with a Border Deal unless we receive all necessary measures to stop the influx of millions of people, including many from unknown locations, into our country. He also expressed hope for our country’s greatness in the future.
“I am confident that our exceptional Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, will only negotiate a deal that is flawless when it comes to border issues.”
The Republican party opposes unrestricted assistance.
Trump made these remarks following a meeting between House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican, and other congressional leaders and White House representatives. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Biden administration’s request for national security funding, which includes support for Ukraine in their conflict with Russia, as well as funding for Israel and the Indo-Pacific. Republicans have linked this funding to conditions related to border security.
When questioned about the meeting, Biden stated that the majority of Congress members are in favor of providing assistance to Ukraine. The concern is whether a small group will impede its progress, which could have disastrous results.
Apart from their requests for border security, certain Republicans are also against the idea of providing uncontrolled assistance to Ukraine. In April, they stated that they will not support any future aid packages unless they are connected to a definite diplomatic plan aimed at swiftly resolving the ongoing conflict.
According to a recent survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, Americans are becoming more tired of the United States’ involvement in foreign affairs. The ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza have led to a greater focus on foreign policy as a significant issue, compared to previous years.
In 2024, 60% of individuals stated that the U.S. government should prioritize foreign policy, a significant rise from the previous 41%. There has also been an increase in the number of people, now at 35%, who view immigration and the border wall as a top concern, up from 27%.
There is opposition from certain members of the House towards the compromise.
A group of senators from both parties reached a compromise this week on an immigration and foreign aid package that may garner more widespread support.
Despite potential approval from the Senate, the agreement is met with strong resistance from conservative Republicans in the House. Democrats have accused them of obstructing the legislation at the direction of Trump.
According to Norman Ornstein, a senior fellow emeritus at the American Enterprise Institute, addressing the border situation could be a controversial topic that energizes the Republican base. If a bill is passed that is seen as a victory for Democrats, it could potentially weaken Republican messaging during an election year.
He stated to VOA that they are unwilling to do anything that could potentially help Joe Biden and remove the border issue from the 2024 campaign discussion.
Republicans are attempting to weaken Biden’s claim of being the president to restore U.S. global leadership by connecting immigration to his primary foreign policy goal. During Trump’s tenure, his “America First” approach led to strained relationships with allies and partners, causing disruption in Washington.
Express a main argument
Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, stated this week that he is hopeful that an agreement can be reached through negotiations. Despite opposition from those on the far right who are following Donald Trump’s lead, Schumer remains positive about the potential for a deal.
Discussions are centered around ways to restrict the amount of individuals given parole, a designation that permits non-visa holding migrants to temporarily reside and be employed in the United States.
The Republican perspective on parole is that it is a risky loophole that contributes to illegal immigration and should be removed. On the other hand, Democrats view it as a means for the government to bring in vulnerable populations to the country.
During a period of political gridlock, Lia Parada, the chief advocacy officer at the Immigration Hub, a group advocating for fair and just immigration policies, stated that removing this tool would only add to the challenges of managing an already flawed immigration system.
Parada expressed her doubt that a resolution could be achieved in the near future.
This report from New Hampshire was contributed by Carolyn Presutti of VOA.