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Republicans push to expand Trump’s border wall

Trump border wall
Source: Video Screenshot

Republican lawmakers passed an immigration package Thursday that would restart stalled construction of Donald Trump’s southern border wall as the United States braces for a sudden increase in migrant crossings from Mexico.

The pandemic-era border restriction policy known as Title 42 is set to expire at 11:59 pm Thursday, sparking fears of an influx for which politicians on both sides of the aisle say President Joe Biden’s administration is not prepared.

The Secure the Border Act of 2023, which advanced from the Republican-led House of Representatives on a roughly party-line 219-213 vote, would reintroduce several signature Trump-era measures, from completing the wall to bolstering asylum restrictions.

It is expected to die in the Democratic-majority Senate — and Biden has vowed to veto it in any case — but is considered a “messaging bill” that will be a starting point for talks between the parties on reforming immigration.

“Today, as the Biden administration allows Title 42 to expire, House Republicans are taking action to address the chaos at our nation’s borders by delivering legislation that will support our Border Patrol agents, block the flow of fentanyl into our country and put an end to the Biden border crisis,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.

Title 42 allowed immigration authorities to swiftly send back migrants encountered at the border to their home countries or Mexico for pandemic-related reasons.

Last week, a cross-party group of senators announced a separate bill — backed by Republicans and moderate Democrats — that would extend a version of Title 42 for two years, regardless of any public health emergency.

Trump promised to build a wall spanning the 1,954-mile (3,145-kilometer) US-Mexico border, and that Mexico would pay for it.

Only 452 miles were ultimately completed — at the expense of US taxpayers — and only around 50 miles is newly constructed wall where none previously existed.

Border Patrol agents made more than 10,000 migrant apprehensions for the third day in a row on Wednesday, Fox News reported, citing Customs and Border Protection sources.

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin accused the White House of having “no viable solution to prevent an unmanageable surge” at the border.

But Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Dick Durbin, who is introducing his own legislation, said the Republican bill was a “partisan nonstarter.”

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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