UPDATED 11:50 AM PT — Monday, May 13, 2019
Senator Lindsey Graham is close to unveiling his new immigration plan, which seeks to radically revamp the asylum process. Graham reportedly began work on the project in late April. He said now that the president has “correctly identified the crisis at the border, it’s time to have a legislative solution.”
The bill is reportedly designed to deter migrants from “gaming the system” by making the application process more difficult, while simultaneously getting rid of loop holes that allow asylum seekers to stay in the U.S. indefinitely. It’s also designed to add pressure on groups of migrants posing as families in the hope of gaining asylum by extending the length of time minors can be detained by immigration officials.
Graham spoke out on the immigration crisis during acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan’s recent testimony on human smuggling at the border:
“Bottom line — if this continues it’s like adding a congressional district of illegal immigrants every year. The average congressional district is about 600,000 people. This year alone we’re on track to do 640 — this has to stop.”
Graham is offering some leeway to court politicians on the left as well. He said he is open to discussing ways to find a pathway to citizenship for so-called Dreamers if, and only if, Congress comes together to pass comprehensive immigration reform. He also said the plan is contingent on Central American countries doing their part to stem the numerous caravans flowing into the U.S. However, as it stands, his proposal is not expected to garner much support from the left.