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GOP Sen. Tuberville predicts there 'will be no immigration bill' as Congress set to reconvenes

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., says Congress will fail to reach an agreement on a plan for the border

As Congress reconvenes Monday aiming to finalize a border security deal, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., suggested that despite the ongoing negotiations, lawmakers will not come to an agreement on an immigration measure.

"I keep saying that there will be NO immigration bill," Tuberville wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter on Thursday night. "There are good immigration laws already on the books, and they refuse to enforce them....do you think they're magically going to start enforcing them now?" 

"This Administration wants an open border," he added.

His comments come in response to a clip of Fox News' Bret Baier asking Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas whether the Biden administration would accept funding for the border on the condition that the funds could only be used for detention and removal, but not for release into the country.

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"Bret, the funds are needed to provide the Department of Homeland Security with more Border Patrol agents," Mayorkas responded. "The funds are needed to provide the Department of Homeland Security with more technology. The funds are needed to provide our department with more detention space to provide the Department of Justice with more immigration judges, so justice can be administered more swiftly."

Republicans have criticized the administration's response to the record level of migrant crossings at the southern border, arguing that Biden's current strategy to speed up the processing of asylum seekers and migrants won't stop the influx of people entering the country. 

"We need transformational policy change to secure our border, enforce our laws, and deter even more illegal immigration," House Speaker Mike Johnson wrote on X. "Secretary Mayorkas is saying the opposite— that the Biden administration wants more money to process more illegal immigrants."

"They just don't get it," he said. 

From Dec. 1 to Dec. 31, over 302,000 migrants were documented attempting to cross the U.S. southern border, marking the highest total for a single month ever recorded. It also the first instance where migrant encounters surpassed 300,000.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources have told Fox News that at least 70% of all illegal entrants are being released into the country. Mayorkas told Baier that statistic "would not surprise me." 

"I know the data," he said. 

Meanwhile, the House's Homeland Security Committee, led by Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., on Jan. 10 will hold its first hearing on impeaching Mayorkas, the committee told Fox News Digital Thursday.

Green told Fox News Digital that for "almost three years, the American people have demanded an end to the unprecedented crisis at the Southwest border, and they have also rightly called for Congress to hold accountable those responsible."

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The bipartisan negotiations over border security, which began between Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla, Krysten Sinema, I-Ariz., Chris Murphy, D-Ct., and Biden administration officials before the holiday recess, are already conditioned on an agreement to pass $60 billion in assistance to Ukraine in Biden's national security supplemental request. 

But as time passes with no clear timeline for an agreement in sight, some lawmakers are starting to look at another avenue for getting the border security bill they want, using the annual budget instead.

The staggered deadlines to fund some government agencies are set for Jan. 19 and Feb. 2. Lawmakers are floating the idea of leveraging the pressure of those deadlines to pass border security measures. The Senate has only passed three of 12 appropriations bills for 2024 and will have just 10 days when they return to approve the first round of funding for several government agencies.

Fox News' Liz Elkind contributed to this report.

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