The House working group, formed by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and led by Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), has released their recommendations for solving the ongoing crisis along the Southwest border, including the deployment of the National Guard, a change to the 2008 human trafficking law, the establishment of repatriation centers in the sending countries, and permission for Border Patrol agents to operate on federal lands. The group has not offered legislative language, which can often be much different from a set of principles.
Here's a list of the group's recommendations:
- Deploy the National Guard to the Southern border to assist Border Patrol in the humanitarian care and needs of the unaccompanied minors. This will free up the Border Patrol to focus on their primary mission.
- Prohibit the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) from denying or restricting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) activities on federal land under their respective jurisdictions.
- Require a DHS strategy and implementation plan to gain operational control of the Southwest border.
- Establish independent third party commission to develop border security metrics as a means to accurately gauge progress on border security.
- Establish border security in Central American countries and Mexico.
- Establish repatriation centers in originating countries in order to facilitate the return of family units and unaccompanied minors.
- Deploy aggressive messaging campaigns in originating countries and the U.S. to dispel immigration myths, clarify that individuals will be deported on arrival and advise on the dangers and legal penalties of traveling through Mexico to enter the United States illegally.
- Mandate the detention of all Family Units apprehended at the border with the ultimate goal of processing family units 5-7 days. Congress must continue stringent oversight to ensure this mandate is being met.
- Amend the Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act of 2008 so all unaccompanied minors are treated the same as Mexicans for the purpose of removals. This would require unaccompanied children who do not wish to be voluntarily returned to their home country to remain in HHS custody while they await an expedited immigration court hearing that must occur not more than 7 days after they are screened by child welfare officials.
- Deploy additional judge teams and temporary judges to expedite the hearing of asylum and credible fear claims. Congress must address the occurrences of fraud in our asylum system. Baseless claims crowd the immigration court system and delay processing for those with legitimate claims. The standard under current law that allows an alien to show a "credible fear of persecution" needs to be examined and addressed to ensure a fraud-free system moving forward. In addition, criminal aliens and criminal gang members should not receive asylum.
- Establish tough penalties for those engaged in human smuggling, including the smuggling of unaccompanied minors by strengthening penalties for human smugglers and those who assist them.
- Increase law enforcement operations domestically and in originating countries to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations and encourage originating countries to pass strict laws against human smuggling.
Updated: Wed, Aug 6th 2014 @ 10:35am EDT