Congress Explains Why Aid to Ukraine Is Linked to US Borders' Protection

Tuesday, 5 December 2023

American congressmen have explained why the vote to allocate aid to Ukraine has been linked to strengthening the Mexican-American border and why some lawmakers have been demanding that these two issues be considered together.

As reported by Voice of America, most lawmakers from the Democratic and Republican parties say this is a way to pressure Joe Biden's administration to pay more attention to the migration crisis.

"There is nothing unusual here in attaching one bill to another to pass it...This is one of the ways that political parties influence each other to achieve their goals. Frankly speaking, I think we need to improve our border security. We have had over 200,000 illegal immigrants in the last year alone," explains Jim Costa, US representative for California's congressional district.

Brad Schneider, US representative for Illinois's congressional district, claimed that both bills aim to protect the sovereignty and borders of both states.


"Just as Ukraine is fighting to protect its independence and sovereignty, the United States' interest is to ensure that Ukraine's border is secure and that it is a successful democracy. In the same way, the United States must ensure that we protect our borders and democracy," Schneider said.

Michael McCall, a Republican congressman from the state of Texas and the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, noted that helping Ukraine in tandem with strengthening the US border will explain to ordinary Americans that supporting partners does not prevent them from solving their own problems.

"It's kind of a trade-off. If we can get a powerful package to secure our border, it will help send a signal to our people that we can do both. It's not an either-or. We can secure our border and protect Ukraine," McCall explained.

Even though initially it was the Republican members of the US House of Representatives who demanded to strengthen US border protection and combine it with aid to Ukraine, now voices in support of this initiative are increasingly coming from both Senate lawmakers and Democrats in general.

Representatives of both parties emphasise that the illegal crossing of the US border with Mexico has turned into a real crisis and requires an urgent solution.

At the same time, the senator from Connecticut, who is a Democrat, believes that connecting Ukraine with the migration crisis in the USA is the same as "holding Ukrainian aid hostage" to a complex domestic American issue.

He pointed out that Washington has failed to pass bipartisan immigration reform for 40 years.

"I think it's upsetting that Ukraine and its sovereignty are held hostage by a major US domestic political problem. It is a problem that can be solved but will be difficult in the next two weeks," the senator added.

Jake Sullivan, US national security adviser, called on Congress to support the White House's request for additional funding for Ukraine, warning that the refusal to vote for it will help the Russian Federation. 

Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader, scheduled the first procedural vote on an additional US$106 billion aid package proposed by President Joe Biden for Ukraine, Israel, the Indo-Pacific region, and for humanitarian purposes in Gaza. 

In September, the White House asked Congress to approve a US$106 billion additional funding package containing more than US$61 billion in funding for Ukraine and spending on helping Israel, Taiwan, and border protection. 

But the initiative was hindered by resistance from far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives, whose new speaker, Mike Johnson, has proposed dividing aid to Ukraine and Israel. 

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