Rep. Tony Gonzales Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Border Security

Congressman Tony Gonzales (TX-23) introduced the Strengthening Authorities for Expedited Removal (SAFER) Act on Friday. The SAFER Act would impose stricter asylum standards, strengthen enforcement partnerships with Latin American countries, and commit more resources to the immigration court system. Together, these provisions would reduce false asylum claims and disincentivize chain migration.

“Border communities are ground zero for the worst immigration crisis ever. The problem is clear. While most asylum seekers do not have legitimate cases, our courts are so backed up that even false claimants are given a court date way into the future,”  said Congressman Tony Gonzales. “Meanwhile, they are free to live here for years on end, without consequences. It’s past time for Congress to close that loophole. My bill, the SAFER Act, does just that by surging immigration judges to the border, raising the outdated credible fear standard, and expediting the removal of migrants who are not truly faced with persecution in their home countries.”  

Key Components of the SAFER Act:

• Combats abuse of our asylum system by raising the credible fear standard from “significant possibility” to requiring migrants to establish that they are “more likely than not” to be eligible for asylum.

• Requires the Attorney General to prioritize docketing and processing of removal cases for migrants apprehended in connection with an irregular migration influx event while ensuring fair, legal counsel.

• Disincentivizes unlawful immigration by authorizing the Secretary of State to seek negotiated agreements with Central and Latin American countries with respect to effective immigration enforcement, detention, and repatriation of foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States unlawfully and supporting DHS to swiftly execute those agreements.

• Reduces the backlog of immigration cases at the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) by hiring an additional 150 Immigration Judges (IJs) and support staff to increase adjudications and ensure accountability by requiring a report on the status of hiring additional IJs and support staff until they have satisfied the requirement under this Act.

For the full text of the bill, click here.


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