Senate Border Bill a Step in Right Direction, but Falls Short in Guaranteeing Due Process for Asylum Seekers

February 5, 2024
Last modified: 
February 5, 2024

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 2024On Sunday night, a bipartisan group of senators released the “Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024. If enacted, the bill would establish an “emergency authority” that would allow, and in some cases require, the U.S. government to summarily expel people seeking protection at the southern border. Additionally, asylum seekers would face tougher standards in screening interviews, and their cases would be fast-tracked, with final decisions issued in months rather than proceeding to immigration courts, raising significant concerns about the implications for due process. 

The bill has already come under attack from segments of both the Democratic and Republican parties and faces an uncertain future.  

The following statement is from Jeremy Robbins, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council: 

“The current situation at our southern border is unsustainable, and our immigration system has suffered from decades of inattention and underinvestment. Tackling the problem through a serious bipartisan effort is a great step forward. Unfortunately, while this bill identifies many of the critical issues that need to be addressed to help us more effectively manage our southern border, it is incomplete in some respects and would be unnecessarily harmful in others.  

While the bill contains a series of positive measures, including an overall increase in green cards, increases in government funding to provide attorneys to unaccompanied kids, age-out protections for the kids of parents who are stuck in our years-long employment-based immigration backlogs, and a path to citizenship for our Afghan allies, it is silent when it comes to how to address the plight of Dreamers and others who have been forced to live in the shadows for far too long. And its key proposal for responding to increasing arrivals at the bordersummary expulsions of individuals who are seeking humanitarian protectionsis an approach that has proven to be a harmful and counterproductive policy under both the Trump and Biden administrations.  

For generations, the United States has been a place of safe haven for people seeking freedom and safety. But in the 21st century, a global displacement crisis is affecting nearly every country in the world. To effectively manage our border in this moment, we need a major shift in thinking and policymaking, abandoning the fantasy of short-term solutionism and acknowledging that only sustained investment over a period of time can realistically address these challenges. We call on Congress and the administration to act to create an immigration system that better reflects our values and needs in the 21st century. 

For a more in-depth analysis at the bill’s provisions, the American Immigration Council will shortly release a longer explainer.  


For more information, contact:

Elyssa Pachico at the American Immigration Council, or 503-850-8407. 

About the American Immigration Council

The American Immigration Council works to strengthen America by shaping how America thinks about and acts towards immigrants and immigration and by working toward a more fair and just immigration system that opens its doors to those in need of protection and unleashes the energy and skills that immigrants bring. The Council brings together problem solvers and employs four coordinated approaches to advance change—litigation, research, legislative and administrative advocacy, and communications. In January 2022, the Council and New American Economy merged to combine a broad suite of advocacy tools to better expand and protect the rights of immigrants, more fully ensure immigrants’ ability to succeed economically, and help make the communities they settle in more welcoming. Follow the latest Council news and information on and Twitter @immcouncil. 

Media Contact

Elyssa Pachico
[email protected]

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