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U.S. Officials Suspend Border Train Crossings as Senate Border Security Talks Continue

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Officials at the U.S.-Mexico border have temporarily suspended freight train crossings in El Paso and Eagle Pass, Texas. 

The move comes after authorities reportedly apprehended more than 4,000 migrants in the area Sunday alone. Temporary closures have also been imposed at a port of entry in Arizona and a pedestrian entrance in San Diego.

Meanwhile, Senate negotiators failed to reach a deal over the weekend on a framework for border security improvements.

Senate Republicans say the border is a security threat.

They want tougher security measures as part of a bill to send more funding for the wars in Israel and Ukraine.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said senators don't want to be "jammed" by a last-minute compromise reached by negotiators.

"We're not anywhere close to a deal," Graham, whose staff has joined the talks, said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Graham predicted the deliberations will go into next year. He was among 15 Republican senators who wrote to GOP leadership urging them to wait until the House returns on Jan. 8 to discuss the issue.

Top GOP negotiator Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell also signaled in their letter Sunday that talks still had a ways to go. Lankford said later that the January timeline was "realistic."

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slider img 2The Biden administration is considering the revival of Trump-like border policies that are drawing outrage from Democrats and immigrant advocates who say the ideas would gut the U.S. asylum system and spark fears of deportations from immigrants already living in the U.S.

The senators and the White House appear to be focused on ways to limit the number of migrants who are eligible for asylum at the border, primarily by toughening the requirements to qualify for their cases to go forward.

The talks have also focused on removing some migrants who have already been living in the U.S. without full legal status, and on ways to temporarily close the U.S.-Mexico border to some crossings if they hit a certain metric or threshold. Arrests of migrants have topped 10,000 on some days.

There has also been discussion about limiting existing programs that have allowed groups of arrivals from certain countries to temporarily enter the U.S. while they await proceedings about their claims. Decades ago, those programs welcomed Vietnamese arrivals and others, and have since been opened to Ukrainians, Afghans, and a group that includes Cubans, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, and Haitians.

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