OAN’s Brooke Mallory
5:19 PM – Thursday, September 14, 2023
On Thursday, Senator Ted Cruz spearheaded efforts to get the Senate to approve its own version of a major Republican revamp of asylum procedures and border security that has already passed through the House.
The Secure the Border Act was approved earlier this year by the GOP-led lower chamber, but it will face a more difficult fight in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Ten senators, including GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (D-Ky.), currently support Cruz’s (R-Texas) initiative.
The legislation is the GOP’s take on a comprehensive immigration strategy to address the current problem at the southern border, which has now lasted for a third year despite a lack of agreement between lawmakers from the two parties.
In addition to drastically increasing the number of Border Patrol personnel to no less than 22,000, the plan would mandate the gathering of migrants’ DNA and biometric data while restarting border wall construction.
It would also codify the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) and Asylum Cooperative Agreements (ACAs) of the Trump administration, make visa overstays illegal, alter the laws governing unaccompanied minors, and limit how the federal government uses humanitarian parole, which was significantly increased under the Biden administration and has come under legal scrutiny.
It would also prevent migration-related usage of the CBP One app.
Additionally, the legislation would prohibit financing for non-governmental groups that provide housing, transportation, and other assistance to undocumented migrants.
“Under Joe Biden, we have a wide-open southern border. The Biden Border Crisis has created the largest illegal immigration crisis in our nation’s history,” Cruz said in a statement. “Biden’s open borders are an invitation for the cartels to brutalize children, to assault women, to overrun our communities with illegal aliens, and to flood this country with narcotics and fentanyl that kill over 100,000 people per year.”
“This bill will stop the Biden Border Crisis dead in its tracks by building the wall, ratcheting up asylum standards, increasing the number of Border Patrol Agents, and implementing effective border security policies.”
The Biden administration has consistently bragged about its own strategy for dealing with the situation, which includes working with Mexico, expanding “lawful migration pathways,” including through the use of parole programs, addressing “root causes,” and resuming the use of Title 8 expulsion procedures.
The administration has claimed that the system is effective and has urged Republicans to step in and support additional funding to adopt a complete package in order to repair the current system at the border. For the millions of illegal migrants currently residing in the United States, the program offers a road to citizenship, Biden’s administration claims.
Meanwhile, Republicans maintain that the administration is implementing open border policies, contributing to the issue by rolling back Trump-era regulations, limiting interior enforcement, and enhancing “catch-and-release.”
Additionally, Republicans in both houses have vehemently opposed any amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Cruz’s proposed legislation would also increase the list of offenses that would disqualify a person from receiving asylum, restrict eligibility to those who arrive at ports of entry, require a system akin to the E-Verify employment eligibility verification system, and increase the penalties for overstaying a visa.
“I’ve been to the southern border and seen the chaos there,” Senator Debra Fischer (R-Neb.), one of the lawmakers co-sponsoring the bill, said. “It is nothing short of a humanitarian and national security crisis. Our legislation will force this administration to finally take steps to secure the border — like resuming construction of the border wall, ending catch-and-release, and reinstating President Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy. If President Biden won’t act to fix the crisis he has created, Congress must.”
The Republican officials co-sponsoring the bill include: Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn), Tom Cotton (R-Ark), JD Vance (R-Ohio), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo), Tommy Tuberville, (R-Ala), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and John Kennedy (R-La).
The measure has also received support from immigration organizations like NumbersUSA and the Federation for Immigration Reform.
The adoption of the regulation coincides with an increase in border crossings.
According to Fox, Border Patrol sectors are once again experiencing overcrowding and are working to expedite the processing of migrants.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts