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Developments

The Senate is to hold a procedural vote tomorrow (Wednesday) on a $118 billion spending package for Ukraine, Israel, border items, and other priorities. In response to Republican demands and after two and a half months of negotiations, the package includes a host of changes to immigration law that would, among other things, make asylum harder to attain at the U.S.-Mexico border. The text of those changes became public Sunday night.

Wednesday’s vote will test whether 60 senators are willing to end debate on the package and move to a vote. Right now, all signs indicate that the bill will fall short of 60 votes. It might not even be close.

More conservative senators—along with the House Republican leadership—are lining up against the compromise migration language on which they had initially insisted, arguing that it is not restrictive enough on migration. “Less than 24 hours after the text of the deal was released, nearly half of the Republican conference immediately panned it, leading to internal finger pointing, frustration and resistance,” wrote Leigh Ann Caldwell and Theodoric Meyer at the Washington Post.

Though they may favor Ukraine aid, some progressive senators are also inclined to vote “no,” because of the bill’s erosion of asylum.

Those favoring the bill include moderate Democrats and some top Senate Republican leaders—though Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did not forcefully encourage his caucus to vote for it on Wednesday. Notably, the National Border Patrol Council, the union comprising a large majority of Border Patrol agents, broke with Donald Trump and supported the bill’s border language.

If the procedural vote fails, it is not clear what will happen next: whether Senate leadership will withdraw the bill, or give senators more time to read its 370 pages and keep debating. The Senate will be out of session next week and the following week.

The full House of Representatives will vote today to impeach Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on charges of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” based on what House Republicans regard to be poor handling of border security and migration.

If all 212 Democrats in the chamber are present and vote “no,” House Republicans will need 216 members of their 219-member delegation to vote “yes”—and a handful of Republican holdouts remain. One moderate, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colorado), published a column in The Hill yesterday laying out his “no” vote, arguing that while he disapproves of Mayorkas’s performance at DHS, it does not constitute high crimes or misdemeanors.

Even if the House votes to impeach—only the second impeachment of a cabinet member, and the first since 1876—the two-thirds vote necessary to convict will be unattainable in the Democratic-majority Senate.

Organized-crime violence has broken out into open firefights this week in the Mexican border cities of Reynosa, Tamaulipas and Tecate, Baja California.

Analyses and Feature Stories

Joe Biden has shifted to the right on border and migration issues due to “a realization that immigration has become one of his greatest vulnerabilities,” according to an analysis from Washington Post reporter Toluse Olorunnipa. Throughout his term, the analysis reveals, Biden has closely followed the latest migration numbers, even asking about specific ports of entry.

A column from Isabela Dias at Mother Jones also explored Biden’s “radical U-turn.”

A commentary from the Center for American Progress broadly supported the bill currently before the Senate, but voiced misgivings about the asylum limitations. It calls for more investment and reform to the U.S. asylum system and for more assistance to “stabilize” and support migrant integration in the Americas.

Associated Press reporters Elliot Spagat and Javier Arciga combined an analysis of the Senate bill’s asylum provisions with an on-the-ground report from Jacumba Springs, California, where asylum seekers arriving at a gap in the border wall wait for hours or days to turn themselves in to Border Patrol.

“Why not let states decide how many foreign workers they need and give each participating state an allocation of work visas or waivers to issue in industries with labor shortages?” asked author D.W. Gibson at the Los Angeles Times.

At the Nation, Arizona-based journalist John Washington published an essay based on his new book, The Case for Open Borders.

On the Right