international support

Strengthening Alliances and Borders: Insights from the New $66.3B Legislative Proposal

In a significant move by a bipartisan group of U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers, a new legislative proposal titled the Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act has been introduced, earmarking a substantial $66.32 billion to bolster the security and democratic integrity of key global allies, including Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. This initiative not only underscores the United States' commitment to global democracy and security but also aims to address pressing border reform issues within the country.

The legislation emerged in the wake of the U.S. Senate's approval of a $95 billion national security supplement, which notably excluded border reform provisions. The House's response, led by figures such as House Speaker Mike Johnson and Rep. Ed Case, vice chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, emphasizes the necessity for bipartisan cooperation to navigate the current impasse and advance national security and border management objectives.

Central to the bill is a provision that would empower the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to temporarily suspend migrant entries into the United States to maintain "operational control" of the border, with certain exceptions in place. This measure aims to enhance border security and manage immigration flows effectively. Furthermore, the bill seeks to reinstate the "Remain in Mexico" policy, requiring migrants with pending proceedings to await their adjudication in Mexico, a move that revisits and reinforces policies from the Trump administration.

On the international front, the proposed allocation includes $47.69 billion to support Ukraine in its ongoing defense efforts, $10.4 billion to bolster Israel's security apparatus, and $4.91 billion to reinforce U.S. and allied operations in the Indo-Pacific region. Additional funds are designated for U.S. Central Command and Indo-Pacific Command operations, highlighting the broad scope of the U.S.'s strategic interests and commitments.

This legislative proposal reflects a multifaceted approach to national and international security, advocating for robust support to democratic allies while addressing the complexities of immigration and border control. It encapsulates a vision for a secure, stable international order underpinned by strong democratic alliances and effective, humane border management practices.

The involvement of key lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, including Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, Jared Golden, Don Bacon, and others, signify the bipartisan nature of the bill and the collective recognition of the interconnectedness of global security and domestic border policies.

As the legislation progresses, it will be imperative for stakeholders, including immigration law professionals and policy analysts, to monitor its implications for international relations, national security, and immigration law and policy. The Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act represents a critical juncture in U.S. legislative efforts to navigate the challenges of a complex global landscape while upholding the values of democracy and the rule of law.


Courtney Buble, "House Lawmakers Unveil $66.3B Military, Border Bill," Law360, February 16, 2024.

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