Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who also chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee that has jurisdiction over immigration, announced the introduction of a new bill that would address the ongoing border crisis. Specifically, Sen. Graham's bill would attempt to fix some of the loopholes that have led to a record-number of family units crossing the border illegally in recent months, although text of his legislation have yet to be released.
According to Sen. Graham, the Secure and Protect Act of 2019 would "close the gaps in current law that have led to an escalating number of immigrants traveling to the border."
“We have a perfect storm brewing at the border because of a series of broken and outdated laws related to asylum and children,” said Sen. Graham. “Word is out on the streets in Central America that if you bring a child with you – regardless of whether or not it is actually your child – America’s laws can be manipulated to allow you to stay in the United States."
The Graham bill would:
- Asylum applications from residents of the Northern Triangle and contiguous countries would be filed at refugee processing centers – not in the United States. These centers would be established in the Northern Triangle and Mexico.
- Modify U.S. law to allow families to be held together up to 100 days in the United States while making their asylum claims – up from the current 20 day limit.
- 500 new immigration judges to reduce the backlog of cases.
- Unaccompanied minors (UAC) from Central America would be treated the same as minors from Canada and Mexico. This allows the United States to return all UAC to their country of origin after screening.
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Updated: Wed, May 29th 2019 @ 2:55pm EDT