Get daily links in your email


After House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) appeared poised to reject a possible bipartisan Senate deal to restrict access to asylum at the border—arguing that it doesn’t go far enough—Republican senators urged Johnson to reconsider. Senate negotiators have been discussing restrictions on asylum—including a possible Title 42-style expulsion authority—in exchange for Republican support of a White House request for funding for Ukraine, Israel, border operations, and other priorities.

In the Senate, where 60 votes are needed to move legislation forward, Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-South Dakota), and others argued that it will be impossible to get enough moderate Democrats to go along with migration restrictions in the future, if a Republican president is elected. “This is a unique moment in time. It’s an opportunity to get some conservative border policy,” Thune said. Senate Republicans’ lead negotiator, Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), had a phone call with Speaker Johnson, who reiterated his support for the hard-line bill (H.R. 2) that passed his chamber on a party-line vote last May.

President Biden will meet with congressional leadership at the White House today to push for passage of his funding request.

“Maybe they [Border Patrol] could have prevented this because they would have seen what was happening” using their “scope trucks,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), who was among the first to denounce the death of three migrants in the Rio Grande while Texas national guardsmen barred Border Patrol from accessing a riverfront park in Eagle Pass. Since Cuellar’s January 13 statement, a Border Patrol official clarified that the mother and two children had already drowned when Texas blocked agents from Shelby Park. Still, as a Department of Justice Supreme Court filing noted, it is “impossible to say what might have happened if Border Patrol had had its former access to the area.”

Texas officials granted NewsNation correspondent Jorge Ventura to the park yesterday, where he posted video of Texas guardsmen using riot shields to block a migrant from entering the park to turn himself in.

Texas Democrats held a press call at which some, like Rep. Joaquín Castro of San Antonio, demanded that President Biden federalize Texas’s National Guard. “I want to be very clear what is happening in Texas right now is incredibly dangerous,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar of El Paso.

One state legislator, Eddie Morales of Eagle Pass, called on Biden to suspend access to asylum temporarily. “I spoke with multiple Reps who clarified that he [Morales] is alone in this position,” tweeted Pablo de la Rosa of Texas Public Radio.

Several Democratic senators, including some facing tough re-election races this year, introduced the “Stop Fentanyl at the Border Act,” which would increase funding for CBP officers, Border Patrol agents, scanners for ports of entry, and similar items.

Mexican authorities arrested in Cancún, and deported to Bogotá, Nelson Enrique Bautista Reatiga alias “Poporro,” who Colombia’s police chief called a “main coordinator” of smuggling Colombian migrants to the United States. He allegedly helped Colombian, Peruvian, and other South American citizens arrive at the U.S. border after flying to Mexico, which citizens of Colombia and Peru can mostly do visa-free.

Analyses and Feature Stories

“Moderate Democratic legislators can tell themselves and their constituents that reaching this type of deal is a way to stop abuse of the asylum system and won’t turn away ‘worthy’ claimants, but that’s simply a lie,” wrote Felipe de la Hoz at the New Republic.

At the Border Chronicle, Melissa del Bosque reports of encountering NewsMax reporter Jaeson Jones reporting from an Arizona site where asylum seekers had arrived, while accompanied by several masked, armed men “wearing hats marked with the logo of the Texas Department of Public Safety Intelligence and Counterterrorism division.” The men confronted humanitarian volunteers in the area and identified themselves as providers of “intelligence for House committees, including the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability.”

A UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll finds that 30 percent of California Democratic voters believe that the U.S.-Mexico border is not secure.

On the Right