A growing number of Senate Democrats appear open to making it harder for migrants to seek asylum in order to secure Republican support for aiding Ukraine and Israel.
They are motivated not just by concern for America’s embattled allies. They also believe changes are needed to help a migration crisis that is growing more dire and to potentially dull the political sting of border politics in battleground states before the 2024 elections.
“Look, I think the border needs some attention. I am one that thinks it doesn’t hurt,” said Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), one of the Senate’s most vulnerable Democrats in next year’s midterm election.
Tester said he’s eager to see if a bipartisan group of negotiators can come up with an agreement on a policy issue as elusive as immigration. While he refused to commit to supporting a deal until he sees its details, he didn’t rule out backing stronger border requirements. And he’s not alone.