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Cornyn, Sinema to introduce bill aimed at addressing border surge

Cornyn, Sinema to introduce bill aimed at addressing border surge
© Greg Nash

Sens. John CornynJohn CornynPolice reform talks hit familiar stumbling block CNN asks Carol Baskin to comment on loose Texas tiger Biden-McConnell cold war unlikely to end at White House MORE (R-Texas) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaBiden 'encouraged' by meeting with congressional leaders on infrastructure Biden meets for first time with 'Big Four' congressional leaders Pavlich: The border crisis Biden said we could afford MORE (D-Ariz.) will introduce legislation on Thursday aimed at addressing a surge of migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The bill, according to a statement from Cornyn’s office, seeks to improve capacity for surges and resolve asylum claims in a “timely manner.”

It also would seek to deter those unlikely to be approved for asylum from traveling to the United States and “protect unaccompanied migrant children.”

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The bipartisan bill comes after Cornyn and Sinema sent President BidenJoe BidenBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' Biden: McCarthy's support of Cheney ouster is 'above my pay grade' Conservative group sues over prioritization of women, minorities for restaurant aid MORE a letter last month urging him to use his “full authorities” to respond to a surge of migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

That, according to the letter, includes taking “immediate action" in two areas: making sure there are enough "resources and facilities" along the border and improving the asylum process.

Congress has failed for years to reach a deal on immigration reform.

Cornyn and Sinema are part of bipartisan group of senators who met Wednesday to discuss immigration reform, marking their second meeting. 

Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinPolice reform talks hit familiar stumbling block Biden's internal polling touts public support for immigration reform The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting MORE (D-Ill.), who is leading the effort, said the group is pursuing elements included in two House-passed bills — "Dreamers" and agricultural workers — as well as border security. 

“Most of these we’ve been through before. We got to sit down. We agree, I think we agree, on a bipartisan basis that we got to reform the system, as far as we can take it,” Durbin said. 

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But Republicans also view immigration and the border as a weak spot for Biden, who they’ve otherwise struggled to define, heading into 2022 and 2024.

A Quinnipiac University poll found that only 29 percent of Americans approve of how Biden is handling the situation at the border, while 55 percent disapprove. 

Forty-eight percent also told Pew that they view illegal immigration as a "very big problem," up 20 points from a year ago.

--Updated on April 22 at 10:19 a.m.