Democrats in the Senate joined forces last week to introduce a new immigration bill. This is intended to help governments in Central America cope with the primary causes behind the mass exodus of undocumented immigrants to the United States.
The bill is unlikely to be taken up before the Presidential election in November. It could cover the Democrats politically in the event of another surge of immigrants over the US border this summer. This would strengthen the argument of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, that border security in the United States is inadequate. The primary sponsor of the Secure the Northern Triangle Act, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, says that the situation in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras is a humanitarian crisis on America’s doorstep.
Senator Charles Schumer, Minority Whip Dick Durbin and the ranking members of as many as four highly influential Senate committees sponsored the legislation, which tries to offer a way of managing fiscal 2016’s appropriation of $750 million in order to deal with the root causes of illegal immigration from Central America. Apprehensions of undocumented immigrants from Central America surged in the first half of the current fiscal year.
Immigration enforcement agencies, especially Customs and Border Protection, were caught off-guard by a similar surge in 2014. That caused political problems for the Democratic Party, and a new immigration crisis this year could prove beneficial for the Republican Party in the House and the Senate, potentially even propelling Donald Trump into the White House.