Schumer says US Senate will try again to pass border bill

(Reuters) -U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday the Senate would once again try to pass a bipartisan border security bill this week after a previous attempt failed when enough Republicans withdrew their support at the urging of former President Donald Trump.

"I hope Republicans and Democrats can work together to pass the bipartisan Border Act this coming week," Schumer said in a letter to senators.

The Border Act would reform U.S. asylum laws, hire thousands of border agents and seek to curtail fentanyl smuggling, among other measures, the Democratic leader said.

Leaders of the Republican-controlled House of Representative called the bill politically motivated.

"Should it reach the House, the bill would be dead on arrival," House Speaker Mike Johnson and other Republicans said in a statement.

The White House said it strongly supported the legislation.

The previous legislation was tied to U.S. foreign aid for Ukraine and Israel, but this bill would stand alone, Schumer said.

Record numbers of migrants have been caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border since Democratic President Joe Biden took office in 2021, and border security has become one of the leading issues in the presidential campaign. Trump is seeking to return to office by challenging Biden in the Nov. 5 election.

In February, a bipartisan immigration bill stalled in the Senate after Trump told Republicans not to support it even though it contained several border-security measures they had sought.

"The former President made clear he would rather preserve the issue for his campaign than solve the issue in a bipartisan fashion. On cue, many of our Republican colleagues abruptly reversed course on their prior support, announcing their new-found opposition to the bipartisan proposal," Schumer said.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; editing by Donna Bryson, Sandra Maler and Chizu Nomiyama)