Bi-Partisan Immigration Bill Introduced

  • by:
  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

Two Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and two U.S. Representatives Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) and Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23) introduced a bipartisan immigration bill on Apr. 22. The bicameral legislation called The Bipartisan Border Solutions Act, or S.1358, is a response to the surge at the border.

According to the press release on the subject of the proposed bill:

"The bill would improve both the Department of Homeland Security’s and the Department of Justice’s capacity to manage migration influxes and adjudicate asylum claims in a timely manner, protect unaccompanied migrant children, reduce impact on local communities, ensure migrants are treated fairly and humanely, and ultimately deter those who do not have realistic asylum claims from placing themselves in danger by making the treacherous journey to our southern border."

Summary highlights of the bill can be found below.

Bipartisan Border Solutions Act/Press Release/Apr. 22,2021

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative advisory organization "whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies," issued a scathing indictment of the proposed bill. Advisors for the Heritage Foundation state that it is not a solution but a "bi-partisan failure." They say that the Biden administration caused the border crisis because of its rollback of President Trump's immigration policies.

For example, Heritage says that the additional 4 processing centers will only incentivize illegal aliens to continue to travel across the border. "Illegal aliens will be processed and released within 72 hours. Establishing giant one-stop-shop “reception” centers will be a boon for human traffickers, allowing them to drop off future waves of illegal aliens." Rather, refugees should apply for asylum in their respective countries as provided by the United Nations Refugee Agency. Notably, President Trump proposed a Zero-Tolerance Policy for migrants who are illegally crossing the border—which required that illegals, once processed, would be returned to Mexico to await their hearing.

Heritage also points out that by ordering the Secretary of Homeland Security to “expand and improve the capability of the Department to conduct ground transportation of migrants," the bill encourages the transfer, in some cases, with only four hours notice, of illegals to cities all over the U.S. who are not allowed to refuse the aliens. The Foundation also criticizes the use of "woke word games to blur the line between legal immigrants and illegal border crossers."

The National Immigration Forum praises the bill as a way to "expedite the asylum process, provide better detention conditions at the border, and ensure minimum standards regarding legal service provision and access to counsel for asylum seekers."

Stash houses are a common result of such surges at the border. On Apr. 30, more than 90 people were reportedly found in what was described as "deplorable conditions" in a stash house in Houston. The Houston police believe it was a case of human smuggling.

Arizona has been profoundly affected by the surge and what Rep. Mark Finchem calls "the consequences of [the Biden Administration's] incredibly bad policy move." He told Victory News on Friday that Governor Ducey has recently "authorized the use of National Guard Troops...who have been sent to the border for the humanitarian side of appears to be designed to cause our ability to respond to implode."

Victor Avila, a former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Agent, told Steve Bannon on his Saturday episode 916 of the War Room that the Biden administration is:

"Systematically and administratively abolishing ICE... by tying the hands of the ICE officers in the interior enforcement which has almost completely been dismantled. Biden doesn't allow ICE to remove illegal aliens with sex offenses...and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) isn't allowed to enforce immigration laws...The ninety-plus humans in the stash house in Houston, there were no children there because the cartels have separated the criminal element—most of these 20-year-old some, illegal aliens coming from Central America...and all over the world, they have vetted them and said if you're a cartel member, a gang member, any criminal history—were not going to send you with the family units anymore. We are gonna smuggle you separately and go back to what they've always been doing for a long, long time. People don't want to recognize this smuggling and these stash houses, I've taken down many of these...we used to have a huge problem with Houston and Phoenix with hostage situations...They get them to these stash homes, and they extort them for more money and hold them hostage, and will not let them go. Many, many atrocities happen to these illegal aliens when they're being brought in to their final destination in the U.S." 

Biden's speech to the joint session of Congress on Apr. 28, one day short of his first 100 days, addressed immigration briefly toward the end. He wants Congress to pass a comprehensive bill that reforms immigration and addresses root causes. On the Today Show, co-anchor Craig Melvin identified Covid, the financial crisis, climate change, and racial inequality as the most pressing issues, reminding Biden of what he said before entering office in January. Biden told Melvin that he inherited “one god-awful mess at the border" that was a result of “the failure to have a real transition—cooperation from the last administration like every other administration has done.” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, discussed Biden's first 100 days focusing on his immigration policy in a 37-minute podcast on Apr. 29.

Chief of Staff Ron Klain said Sunday that the surge in unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border is not President Biden's fault.

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