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How Biden’s Immigration Fight Threatens His Biggest Foreign Policy Win

via CBS News
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The surge in border crossings from Mexico has become a political vulnerability for President Biden, affecting his approval rating and opening him up to criticism.

The crisis is now impacting America’s support for the war in Ukraine, as Republicans are demanding new border restrictions in exchange for aid to Ukraine.

The immigration debate is spilling over into other parts of Biden’s agenda, with Republicans using it to block the president’s foreign policy priorities.

Biden has characterized aid to Ukraine as crucial for American leadership on the global stage, but House Republicans remain unmoved, focusing on national security and the humanitarian situation at the U.S. border.

“I think the vast majority of members of Congress support aid to Ukraine,” Biden said. “The question is whether or not a small minority are going to hold it up, which would be a disaster.”

“They looked at this as an opportunity and they’ve taken it,” former governor of Arizona Janet Napolitano said.

“It really means the president has got to go as far as he can and to work with those across the aisle to get a package through,” she added.

“Republicans are holding foreign aid hostage to extract extreme immigration measures that would not solve the problem,” Rep. Nanette Barragán said. “Many of us support aid to Ukraine, but not at the expense of these extreme immigration policies on the table.”

The situation reflects a dire political landscape for immigration, with the president facing pushback from both progressives and conservatives.

“It’s hard to imagine a time previously in our nation’s history where something that is so important from a national security standpoint, that would normally unite all Americans of both political parties, is caught up in games,” center-left think tank vice president Jim Kessler said.

The White House is willing to make compromises on asylum and border policies, but it remains uncertain whether a deal can be reached.

The linkage of aid for Ukraine to border restrictions is seen as unprecedented and could have severe consequences for both Ukraine and the United States if a deal is not reached.

“I imagine that the calculation was that there’s a lot of support for these and if we put them all together we’ll have a winning strategy,” William B. Taylor Jr. said.

“That U.S. leadership would be badly damaged if we can’t provide the assistance to the Ukrainians to allow them to stop the Russians now,” he said. “It has enormous implications.”

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