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Pressure on Biden or Compromise: Why aid to Ukraine depends on US border requirements

Pressure on Biden or Compromise: Why aid to Ukraine depends on US border requirements U.S. aid to Ukraine depends on border requirements (Photo: Getty Images)

The dependence of aid to Ukraine on conditions in the context of immigration legislation put forward by Republicans pursues several goals - from exerting pressure on the administration of President Joe Biden to sending a simple signal to Americans about the importance of sovereignty not only for Ukraine but also for the United States, according to Voice of America.

"Common practice" and leverage of influence on Biden

Democratic Congressman from California Jim Costa says that "there is nothing extraordinary here": it is not the first time that to approve a certain bill, it is attached to another, and these documents may not be related to each other.

"This is one way for political parties to influence each other to achieve their goals. And, frankly, I think we need to improve our border security. We have over 200,000 illegal immigrants in just the past year," he explains.

Republican Congressman from New Jersey, Chris Smith, agrees with this opinion.

"This is one way to force the Biden administration to finally focus on our border, which they are not doing," he believes.

Additionally, according to Smith, the Biden administration has not provided clear explanations to Congress about whether the current delay in aid to Ukraine has a critical impact on the battlefield.

"And frankly, Congress has not been told whether Ukraine is in danger. Yes, it may be under threat in a few months. And of course, the sooner we restore the flow of aid - because weapons do not arrive instantly - the better. And if these two bills are separated, that's fine, too. But I don't like the stubbornness of our administration (Biden's, - ed.), which does not want to ensure the security of our border (USA, - ed.). So, we are trying to get their attention in this way," he says.

Common grounds

Brad Schneider, a Democratic Congressman from Illinois, argues that these two bills are related to the single goal of protecting the sovereignty and borders of both states.

"It's a great question - what is the connection between all these different bills? Just as Ukraine fights for the protection of its independence and sovereignty, in the interests of the United States - to ensure that the border of Ukraine is safe and that it is a successful democracy. The United States must also ensure that we are defending our borders and democracy," he said.

Signal to Americans

At the same time, according to Republican Congressman from Texas and Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Michael McCaul, aid to Ukraine in tandem with strengthening the U.S. border will explain to ordinary Americans that supporting partners does not prevent simultaneously addressing issues within their own country.

"Obviously, we support our NATO allies in the fight against Putin, against Russia's invasion and aggression against Ukraine. But Americans also want our border to be protected. It's a kind of compromise. If we can get a strong package for our border security, it will help signal to our people here that we can do both. There is no choice of 'either-or,' we can not only protect our border but also protect Ukraine," McCaul added.

Republican Congressman from Florida Mike Waltz expressed similar sentiments. According to him, millions and millions of illegal immigrants are crossing the southern U.S. border, so many American voters demand that this issue be resolved.

"It's not about 'either one or the other' - it's a matter of priorities. It's time for the Biden administration to focus on the internal crisis before we continue to allocate millions in aid to our allies (which we absolutely must do). Still, for now, it's a matter of priorities," he said.

What's the problem?

Republican lawmakers have put forward conditions for Democrats regarding approving aid to Ukraine. It concerns border security. Yes, Republicans threaten to refuse assistance to Ukraine if Democrats do not agree to strengthen U.S. immigration legislation. Among the demands are restoring parts of the wall on the border between the U.S. and Mexico, reducing the number of individuals receiving "humanitarian parole" to enter the U.S., and tightening the rules for migrants obtaining asylum. Democrats, in turn, refuse to support such requirements.

According to the publication Politico, Ukraine has become a kind of hostage in the 30-year dispute between Republicans and Democrats over borders. In the U.S. Senate, there are concerns that this could delay the issue of funding assistance to Ukraine.