Mitch McConnell, the minority leader in the Senate, said earlier this week that he believes the White House must draft a spending bill that’s “broad” to include aid for Israel as well as additional “credible” solutions to America’s own border crisis.
Holding his first press conference after Hamas’ brutal and deadly attack on Israel last weekend, McConnell said that this attack was “interconnected” with others carried out by China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. He also said that Hamas’ attack shows just how important it is to have secure borders.
At the press conference, McConnell explained:
“There’s a connection between all of this, and I am not surprised, frankly, that the administration seems to be inclined to send up a broad package. As my colleagues have pointed out, the broader part of it (border security) needs to be credible. Not just some reference to it, but credible dealing with the problem.”
The immediacy of the issue was highlighted by comments made by Republican Senator Steve Daines. He said that agents from the Border Patrol have told him that in just the last 10 days, they have encountered at least one person who has come from Iran, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, Algeria and Afghanistan – among other countries.
In other words, people are trying to come into the U.S. illegally from all over the world, not just Latin America.
Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito from West Virginia gave her opinion on the matter when she said:
“I think it’s time for us to look not so much inward, but to look outward because, in the end, it’s going to be our own national security. I echo those concerns of our southern border.
“It does make you think, ‘Do we really know what’s going on? Who’s coming in? What are they doing?’”
A recent report from Fox News says that agents from Customs and Border Protection have encountered thousands of what are called “special interest aliens” since back in 2021. Those people come from any country that the U.S. government identifies as having a condition that either protects or promotes terrorism, or that could pose a national security threat to America.
Also in the 2023 fiscal year, the total number of encounters with people who are on the terror watchlist also broke a new record. In total, there were 505 encounters with these people at all ports of entry in the country – at both the southern and northern borders.
Almost immediately after the Hamas attacks on Israel, the White House started to negotiate with members of the Senate regarding what a potential spending package that included aid for Israel would be structured like.
Sources said that the White House is seeking to include aid not just for Israel but also for Ukraine and Taiwan, as well as money for border security and a security program that would run through a non-profit organization and protect churches, mosques, synagogues and other houses of worship.