Next year is going to be more crucial than ever for rapid response and communications on border and migration issues. With that in mind, I’m trying out this daily links format: one-sentence explanations of key developments and analyses.

If the workflow of making these each weekday doesn’t stick, these updates will disappear and I’ll never speak of them again. In the meantime, though, I’ll also post these to our Border Oversight resource under “News.”

(Today’s edition is late because I had to drop everything to prepare testimony for a hearing tomorrow in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.)


Seven mostly Republican senators continue to negotiate the Biden administration’s request for supplemental 2024 funding for Ukraine, Israel, and the border. Republicans want tough restrictions on asylum and humanitarian parole in exchange for their support. The talks do not appear to be progressing.

It seems that negotiators are focusing on two Republican demands: for raising standards that recently arrived asylum seekers would have to meet in initial credible-fear interviews, and for weakening the presidential authority—part of immigration law since the 1950s—that allows temporary grants of humanitarian parole. Some Democrats appear willing to budge on the credible fear standards, but are more resistant to watering down parole, a program that, as applied to some citizens of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, Ukraine, and Venezuela, has reduced arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“I think it’s becoming less and less likely that we’ll have a deal by the end of the week,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), one of the seven negotiators.

Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent reported:

According to Democratic sources familiar with the negotiations, Republican demands began to shift soon after the New York Times reported that in a second Trump term, he would launch mass removals of millions of undocumented immigrants, gut asylum seeking almost entirely, and dramatically expand migrant detention in “giant camps.”

As one Senate Democratic source told me, Republicans started acting as though Trump and his immigration policy adviser Stephen Miller were “looking over their shoulders.”

Eleven Democratic senators, led by Alex Padilla (California), signed a statement opposing any deal that weakens asylum and doesn’t include “a clear path to legalization for long-standing undocumented immigrants.” Immigrants’ rights groups have added their voices in opposition to any deal that weakens asylum and other protections.

On the right, the “Heritage Action” organization opposed any deal that does not include the full Republican agenda represented in H.R. 2, the “Secure the Border Act,” which passed the House on a party-line vote in May 2023.

The Los Angeles Times reported on miserable conditions endured by asylum seekers awaiting Border Patrol processing outdoors, at times for days, at an outdoor “informal holding spot” near a gap in the border wall in rural Jacumba Hot Springs, California.

Agents in other Border Patrol sectors are being called to help process large numbers of arriving migrants in the Tucson, Arizona and Del Rio, Texas sectors. Some of that processing is occurring virtually, through video interviews with agents.

The federal judiciary’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing arguments in a longstanding case seeking to end CBP’s practice of “metering,” or restricting asylum seekers’ access to U.S. soil at ports of entry.

Analyses and Feature Stories

An analysis from the New York Times’ Miriam Jordan notes that U.S. asylum law offers little protection to people fleeing the effects of climate change.

The latest LAPOP AmericasBarometer survey found that 50 percent of Nicaraguan people intend to migrate, and that 23 percent are “very prepared” to leave Nicaragua in the near future. About 670,000 Nicaraguans—more than 10 percent of the country—have left since 2018.

From the Right: