Grassley says GOP pressing for immigration policy in Israel, Ukraine aid package

WASHINGTON — Senator Chuck Grassley says if Republicans in the U.S. Senate stick together, they may be able to force Democrats to put immigration policy changes in an aid package for Israel and Ukraine.

“Making it more certain who can qualify for asylee,” Grassley says, “the ‘return to Mexico’ issue that Trump put in place — in other words, stay in Mexico while you’re making application to see if you can enter the U.S. legally and maybe some interior enforcement.”

President Biden has proposed security funding for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan along with targeted funding to address U.S. border security, fentanyl smuggling and help U-S cities struggling to accommodate migrants. Grassley says a bipartisan group of senators are discussing the addition of immigration policy changes that also would address border security.

“As long as 41 Republicans stick together to do something at the border and the (Biden) administration wants money for Isreal and Ukraine like a lot of senators do, including this one, we might force our hand to do something significant on border security,” Grassley says.

Earlier this month, the U.S. House passed a bill to provide over $14 billion in aid to Israel and cut funding to the IRS, but the U.S. Senate’s Democratic leader says senators will consider a bipartisan package that aligns with President Biden’s request.