Five Facts About the Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act

Five Facts About the Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act

The Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act is a new initiative from lawmakers designed to enhance border security in the United States and provide defense support to key allies facing security threats.

Here are five facts about this legislation:

1. The bill has 10 bipartisan cosponsors.

Introduced by a group of bipartisan representatives, including Republican Brian Fitzpatrick and Democrat Jared Golden, the bill includes several provisions to help the United States secure its borders and aid allies Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The sponsors of this bill started working on it when it became clear that House Speaker Mike Johnson was not willing to bring a recently passed bipartisan Senate bill up for a vote.

2. The legislation would implement several enhanced security measures at the southern border.

For one year following its enactment, the bill mandates the Secretary of Homeland Security to suspend the entry of inadmissible aliens if necessary for operational control of U.S. borders. It also requires immediate detention and expulsion of inadmissible migrants at the southern border, with specific exceptions for humane reasons.

3. It reimposes the Trump-era "Remain in Mexico" Policy for one year.

This policy mandates that migrants seeking admission, including asylum, from territories contiguous to the U.S., be returned to those territories pending the adjudication of their status, addressing concerns raised by the Supreme Court's interpretation of expulsion authority. In other words, if a migrant requests asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, they have to wait in Mexico for your claim to be adjudicated.

4. The act allocates $66.32 billion in defense funding for Fiscal Year 2024 to support Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

This includes significant funds for Ukraine's Security Assistance Initiative, Israel's Iron Dome and Iron Beam procurement, and U.S. deterrence operations in the Indo-Pacific, highlighting the strategic importance of these regions and allies. Notably, more than $30 billion of this funding would be spent on U.S. businesses.

5. The legislation outlines strict criteria for who is not allowed into the U.S.

This includes banning admitting people who take part in persecution of any kind, those convicted of serious crimes like murder, or those found to pose a credible threat to national security. However, the legislation does make allowances for people who arrive at the border with severe disabilities or serious medical conditions.