The acting chief of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and the union representing Border Patrol agents both endorsed the bipartisan Senate border security bill on Monday, adding support for the plan from those who would enforce key aspects of it.
The endorsements, both first reported by Fox News, come as the Senate deal faces mass pushback from House Republicans, with GOP leadership pledging that it will not even get a vote in the House if it passes the Senate.
The bipartisan deal overhauls the asylum program, provides funds for thousands of new immigration officers, allows the president to shut down the border on an emergency basis and funds foreign aid priorities abroad.
“This proposed legislation would provide the strongest set of tools we have had in decades to effectively manage migration and enhance our nation’s border security,” acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller said in a leaked internal memo to employees acquired by Fox News.
Miller highlighted parts of the agreement that would expand Border Patrol authority and provide funding for 1,500 new agents, as well as systemic reforms.
“Together, these tools and resources would enable us to maximize consequences against those who unlawfully enter the country, maintain order and security at the border, and appropriately prioritize our essential national security and public safety missions,” he said.
Miller also called the proposed deal “tough” and “fair,” echoing the language from President Biden’s endorsement of the package Sunday.
The National Border Patrol Council, the union for more than 18,000 Border Patrol officers, said the deal is “not perfect” but “far better than the status quo.”
Union President Brandon Judd is a noted critic of President Biden and his administration’s handling of border policy. Last week, he said at a House subcommittee hearing that Biden has “destabilized our southwest border.”
The deal has received support from both parties’ Senate leaders and the president, though an increasing number of House Republicans, in addition to former President Trump, have railed against it, claiming it would hand Democrats a political victory before the general election.
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