WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12), Chairwoman of the House Working Group to address the national security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border, issued the following statement regarding the policy recommendations included in the House border crisis supplemental package.
“This is a crisis that deserves decisive leadership from President Obama, but his Administration has failed to lead, so the House will take action this week to resolve the urgent situation at the southern border. It would be irresponsible to allow this crisis to continue unabated for another month without immediate action to secure the border and deter more unaccompanied minors from making the journey and crossing the border illegally.
“The working group recommendations that have been included are the options I believe represent the most urgent actions that need to be taken to curb the flow of unaccompanied minors, along with women with children, from making the perilous journey to the U.S. border. Additionally, this plan provides the tools necessary to process and humanely return unaccompanied children and family units home as quickly as possible as well as to secure our southern border.
“The working group has diligently worked to provide recommendations for the conference to consider that were derived from meetings with interested parties and visits to the Texas-Mexico border and Central America, so I am pleased that many of the most essential aspects of the group’s recommendations have been included in the supplemental.”
Policy Recommendations Included in the House Border Crisis Supplemental Package
• Amend the Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act of 2008 to require that all unaccompanied minors are treated the same as unaccompanied minors from Canada and Mexico for the purpose of removals. Additionally, this would require unaccompanied children who do not wish to be voluntarily returned to their home country to remain in Health and Human Services 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. Priority removal will be given to the children who have most recently arrived in the United States.
• Deploy additional temporary judges to expedite the hearing of asylum and credible fear claims.
• Change the Immigration and Nationality act to strengthen the law prohibiting criminals with serious drug related convictions from applying for asylum.
• Prohibits 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 within 100 miles of the US-Mexico border.
• Deploy the National Guard to the Southern border to assist Border Patrol.
Text of the legislation, H.R. 5230: