Senate negotiators voiced pessimism about reaching a deal before the end of the year that might grant the Biden administration’s $110.5 billion request for aid to Ukraine, Israel, the border, and other priorities in exchange for truncating asylum or other migration programs, as Republican legislators are demanding. (Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will appeal for aid in this request this morning, in an in-person address before the Senate.) Some of a small group of Senate negotiators continue to meet, and White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients is more directly involved. Congress is scheduled to go out of session for the rest of the year on Thursday December 14. House Speaker Mike Johnson indicated that he could convene the chamber next week if necessary.

A host of human rights organizations (including WOLA) have vocally opposed a deal that would change U.S. law to limit the right to seek asylum or other migrant protections. On December 11, similar statements came from Sen. Alex Padilla (D-California), chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, and Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-California), chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; and from the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Tijuana’s municipal migration office estimates that about 5,000 migrants are staying in the city’s 40-plus recognized shelters. About 70 percent are citizens of Mexico fleeing from the country’s interior. Citing a need to help process a large number of migrants in Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector, CBP has closed one of two pedestrian lines at the border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego.

Analyses and Feature Stories

Mexico’s migration agency (INM) is facing a funding shortfall until at least the end of the year; an agent told the daily Milenio, “INM agents no longer even approach the migrants…in Ciudad Juarez, no Mexican authority is present for the dozens of migrants who wait, along the Rio Bravo, for a break in patrolling by the Texas National Guard to cross a barbed wire fence.”

Voice of America reports that shakedowns and harassment from corrupt Guatemalan police have made migrants’ transit through the country “hellish.” (See a longer mid-November investigation of this in Spain’s El País.)

On the Right