Meeting on immigration and aid to Ukraine ends without much forward movement
President Biden met with Congressional leaders on Wednesday to continue the conversation around providing aid to Ukraine. However, Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson continued to state that he will not accept any deal that does not include a much more significant crackdown on the border than Democrats have been willing to agree to.
A bipartisan group of senators have been able to make progress on a compromise that would reduce unlawful border crossings while also providing permanent pathways to remain in the U.S. for certain immigrants and work permits for migrants who have passed their initial asylum screenings. The Republican controlled House has signaled that they will not entertain any legislation that does not include H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act, which passed the House last May without votes from Democrats. “I don’t think now is the time for comprehensive immigration reform, because we know how complicated that is,” Speaker Johnson told reporters.
Migration to Europe expected to increase in 2024, analysts say
The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) predicts that with new immigration laws and elections in which immigration will be a primary topic in both Europe and the U.S., people from various countries will leave their homes and attempt to arrive in Europe before changing policies go into effect. Michael Spindelegger, the director general of the ICMPD, urged politicians to work hard to develop legal pathways for migrants and to work with organizations to provide worker recruitment and training centers in African and Asian countries, the countries from which many migrants will be coming.
Similar to the situation in the U.S., the EU is in need of more than a million workers and migrants arriving to the area would fill that need. “We have to make sure companies are not waiting some years before they get the workers they need. If they don’t get [them] within a short period of time, companies will move out in a different country and we lose the investment. So we have to speak up about the need for migrants,” Spindelegger noted.