As America’s border crisis continues nearly unabated, Senate Republicans have drafted an expansive border security proposal aimed at stemming the flow of illegal migration into the country.
The working group, comprised of Sens. Lindsey Graham(R-S.C.), Tom Cotton (R-Okla.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.), has met for several weeks to put forward the new proposal, which puts forth solutions rather than “simply throwing more money at the ever-worsening problem,” as stated in the document.
Under the plan, funding would be allocated for border wall construction and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be required to resume the wall’s construction.
DHS would also be instructed to make changes that allow border security authorities to maintain better operation control of the border via tactical infrastructure, advanced surveillance, and more effective technology.
Border Patrol agents would have overtime pay increased and have better recruiting and training programs to help boost retention.
Additionally, DHS would be forced to comply with existing laws requiring DNA and biometric collections from illegal aliens.
The proposal addresses asylum reform, notably by reinstating the “safe third country” rule, whereby migrants would be ineligible for asylum if they have transited through at least one country outside of their home country before requesting asylum in the U.S.
The new law would also address the “credible fear standard” used to weigh the validity of a foreign national’s claim of persecution in their country of origin. It would raise the initial screening’s current standard of “credible fear of persecution” to “more likely than not” in order to better weed out false asylum claims.
Migrants and valid asylum seekers would also be required to make their request at a port of entry, which would relieve stress on border agents and allow them to focus on smugglers and criminals.
Under the new plan, DHS would be prohibited from using broad class-based criteria to grant humanitarian parole, which would only be allowed for aliens not present in the U.S., with narrow exceptions.
It would also federally codify two existing parole programs: the Cuban Family reunification Program and a separate program for the spouse and children of active-duty military personnel.
Parole would also be limited to a period of one year or shorter, and the scope of the parole statue would be limited so that it could rarely be used.
Other Policy Reforms
Illegal aliens would be required to be returned to a contiguous country during their immigration proceedings if DHS officials cannot detain or deport them to a safe third country.
Officials would be allowed to implement policies similar to the Title 42 provisions enacted under the Trump administration, which would allow federal authorities the ability to decline migrants admission into the U.S. from Mexico.