Border, Economic Security Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

Our Democratic colleagues continue to pretend that there is not a problem. In the face of rapidly dwindling funds and resources to manage the thousands of people in Customs and Border Protection's custody, our Democratic colleagues won't even provide additional funding to help the officers and agents who are working day and night to safeguard our border and to care for the migrants in their custody.

Even the editorial board of the New York Times, never quick to agree with President Trump or Republicans, say it's time to do something about it.

It's time to put politics aside and start discussing real solutions.

Along with my friend and colleague, Henry Cuellar, who happens to be a Democrat in the House of Representatives, we've introduced a bill called the HUMANE Act, which would help us begin to reduce the pull factors and improve the way we process people who seek asylum here in the United States.

I commend the president, the Administration, and the Mexican government for working together to come up with a solution that will help stem the flow of migrants at our southern border, as well as avoid the costly economic mistake of additional tariffs. The fact is, we can achieve border security without compromising our economic security. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Background on the HUMANE Act:

Improving Care of Children and Families at the Border:

  • Requires DHS to keep families together during court proceedings and provide additional standards of care for families being held in DHS facilities*
  • Improves Due Process for unaccompanied children and family units by prioritizing their claims for relief in immigration courts.
  • Provides safeguards to prevent unaccompanied children from being placed in the custody of dangerous individuals.
  • Requires DHS to continually update their regulations to prevent and combat sexual abuse and assault in DHS facilities.
  • Fixes a loophole in current law to allow unaccompanied children from non-contiguous countries to be voluntarily reunited with their families in their home country.*
  • Clarifies that the Flores settlement agreement applies to unaccompanied children apprehended at the border.

Streamlining Processing and Increasing Resources at Ports of Entry:

  • Mandates the hiring of additional DHS personnel, upgrades and modernization of our nation’s ports of entry to expedite legitimate trade and travel.
  • Improves processing of humanitarian relief claims by requiring certain applications take place at designated ports of entry.*
  • Requires DHS to establish four or more Regional Processing Centers in high-traffic areas to process and house family units in a humane environment.*
  • Requires the Executive Office for Immigration Review to assign at least two immigration judges to each of the Regional Processing Centers that DHS is required to establish along the southern border.
  • Mandates a strategy and implementation plan from the Department of State regarding foreign engagement with Central American nations.

*Recommendation of the bipartisan DHS Homeland Security Advisory Council


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