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WSJ: Biden makes concessions to Republicans on immigration to secure Ukraine aid

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 18, 2024 5:25 PM 2 min read
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland on March 26, 2022. (AFP/Getty Images)
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U.S. President Joe Biden made concessions on immigration policy to Senate Republicans to deflect criticism and secure backing for Ukraine aid, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Jan. 18.

Since autumn 2023, Congress has disagreed on a supplemental funding bill that included $61 billion in aid for Ukraine. Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked an initiative in December, insisting that further military aid must include significant domestic border changes.

The funding faces even tougher opposition from House Republicans, who raised further demands, and some of them are against aid for Kyiv in principle. Biden met Congressional leaders on Jan. 17 to underscore the importance of continued funding for Ukraine.

An important factor for Biden is also likely a growing dissatisfaction among the voters with the administration's border policy. According to a CBS survey, 63% of Americans want a stricter approach toward immigration at the southern border.

As part of the border deal talks with the Republicans, the White House agreed to measures that would restrict the right of some migrants to claim asylum in the U.S., the WSJ wrote.

The president also recently signaled openness to changes to humanitarian parole, which allows entry to migrants who do not qualify for visas.

The Biden administration has reportedly drawn line on some issues like large-scale workplace raids or detaining migrant families at the border.

Washington signed the last U.S. $250 million aid package for Ukraine on Dec. 27, including ammunition for anti-aircraft warfare, multiple launch rocket systems, artillery, anti-tank mines, and other aid.

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell announced on Jan. 17 that the Senate could consider a deal on Ukraine funding and border security next week.

The bill has to be approved by both chambers of Congress.

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