U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) is pushing a legislative package to address the continuing influx of illegal immigrants from the U.S. southern border.
“There is an unprecedented humanitarian and national security crisis at our southern border,” said Britt. “This is a direct, avoidable result of the Biden Administration’s dangerously weak policies. Hardworking parents across our nation want their children to grow up in safe, strong communities, so that they can reach their full potential and live their American Dream. This legislation would help secure that dream for families in every corner of our country.”
The first part of the package is a resolution meant to acknowledge the existence of a “crisis” on the southern border.
According to Britt’s resolution, there have been over 4.5 million illegal immigrant encounters on our southern border since Biden's inauguration. Since March 2022, there have been over 200,000 encounters each month.
Secondly, Britt is leading a bill, joined by U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn), to remove the “catch and release policy used by the U.S.
The “Keep Our Communities Safe Act” seeks to close the Obama-era policy that requires the government to release illegal immigrants into the United States after detaining them for six months if no other country accepts them for deportation.
“The Biden administration’s open-border, catch-and-release policies have created a crisis that threatens the safety of local communities and our national security,” Tuberville said. “The Keep Our Communities Safe Act addresses the deliberate enforcement void created by President Biden by giving the Department of Homeland Security the discretion to detain illegal immigrants awaiting deportation and barring criminals from being released into the country. This bill closes loopholes that overwhelm law enforcement and endanger Americans.”
The third piece of the package, The Asylum Abuse Reduction Act, is a four-pronged bill to address the U.S. asylum process. The bill would require migrants to declare asylum at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico or Canada before entering the United States, create a criminal bench warrant for aliens that have failed to appear for immigration court, codify the Trump administration’s third country asylum rule and establish a fix to the Flores Settlement Agreement.
The third country asylum rule prohibits asylum for all individuals who enter or attempt to enter across the southern border if they did not seek protection from a third country while en route.
The Flores Agreement sets national policies and "standards for the detention, release, and treatment of minors in the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
“It is critical that we end incentives and loopholes that are encouraging immigrants to break the law and game the system,” Britt continued. “The status quo has led to a tidal wave of people coming across our border. It is imperative that we fix the process to eliminate asylum abuse and ensure legitimate asylum claimants are processed in a timely fashion.”
The fourth piece of the package is the “WALL Act,” which would expend funds to complete building the wall on the southern border. The legislation would pay for the wall by eliminating the entitlement benefits and tax credits used by immigrants and fining those making illegal entry into the United States.
“We need to seal and secure the border – at ports of entry and between them – through a combination of physical infrastructure, technology, equipment, and personnel,” Britt concluded. “An invaluable piece of this equation is finishing the wall on our southern border. This is a commonsense measure that funds this construction without raising taxes on American citizens or adding to the national debt.”
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email [email protected].
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning