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Senate Republican Whip John Thune said GOP lawmakers want a policy included in the ongoing border negotiations with Biden administration officials that would codify a policy to “detain and deport” illegal immigrants at the southern border. 

“Right now, the Biden administration’s principal policy when it comes to the border has been catch and release,” Thune told reporters on Tuesday. “We want to codify a policy that is detain and deport — a very distinct difference.”

Thune said the policy would be available for future administrations to implement. 

“The next president on day one would have these tools available at their disposal to get operational control and maintain operational control of the southern border, but it’s got to start somewhere,” he said. “And it needs to start with strong, meaningful, real serious and enforceable policies at our southern border.”

WHITE HOUSE FUNDING REQUEST INCLUDES $14 BILLION FOR BORDER AS CRISIS HITS NEW RECORDS

In 2021, President Biden signed immigration-related executive orders, which included revoking then-President Trump’s order ending the so-called “catch and release” policy, which releases illegal migrants into the U.S. 

Outstanding issues still remain in the border negotiations between lawmakers and Biden administration officials that would unlock billions in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan — and Republican leadership said they are not expecting a vote on it this week. It’s unclear when an agreement will be finalized, but it will likely face an uphill battle when it does get a vote in the upper chamber and makes it to the GOP-controlled House. 

BORDER DEAL PRICE TAG LIKELY TO COST MORE THAN $14 BILLION, BUT GOP LAWMAKERS GROW RESTLESS TO SEE BILL TEXT

Yuma Arizona border

The finalized border policy will be included in the Biden administration’s $110 billion national security supplemental request, which originally earmarked $14 billion for speeding up asylum processing at the southern border and increasing border patrol agents. A portion of the agreement dealing with heightening asylum standards made it to the Senate Appropriations Committee, lawmakers said Monday, estimating that it will cost more than Biden’s initial request. 

“These are national security implications associated with what’s happening at our southern border,” Thune said. “And the fact that we are consistently dealing with threats coming across that border that put the American people at risk, so it’s got to be fixed.”

Sources with Customs and Border Protection told Fox News Digital that migrant encounters hit a record 300,000 incidents in the last month of 2023. 

Fox News’ Timothy H.J. Nerozzi and Griff Jenkins contributed to this report. 

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