ACTIVIST TOOLKIT FOR LEGISLATION ON BORDER SECURITY AND IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT
This week, House leadership kept their promise to the American people and passed H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023, to stop the Biden border crisis and end catch-and-release.
The bill’s provisions include:
- Requiring the Department of Homeland Security to resume construction of the border wall along no less than 900 miles of our southern border
- Increasing manpower to a total of 22,000 Border Patrol agents
- Providing additional technology at border ports of entry to detect and prevent the entry of narcotics, contraband and illegal migrants
- Reforming our asylum process to deter frivolous claims and prohibit gang members, felons and drunk drivers from benefitting from our asylum system
- Prohibiting the Homeland Security Secretary from releasing illegal aliens apprehended at our border, strengthening our ability to detain, remove and return those aliens to their home country or another safe country
- Preventing unaccompanied alien children surges at the border in a humanitarian way, ensuring they are screened and processed expeditiously with family members and sent home
- Significantly limiting the Secretary’s authority to grant humanitarian parole, so that broad, category-based parole programs cannot be established to circumvent Congress
- Mandating the use of E-Verify for all employers in a responsible, phased-in way
- Limiting the use of the Customs and Border Protection phone app to inspection of perishable cargo only, banning it to be used to facilitate interviews in the U.S. for migrants
In short, the bill will end the policies in place that are causing the historic humanitarian crisis at the border while protecting Americans from dangerous narcotics, cartel violence, and national security threats. Most importantly, it will stop President Biden and the open-borders advocates from abusing our immigration system!
FAIR was on the front lines and we couldn’t have done it without you!!
To see how your representative voted, click here.
- Under President Biden, nearly 7.4 million people have illegally entered the country, with nearly 6 million encountered and another 1.3 million “gotaways” that have evaded Border Patrol.
- Under President Biden, the government has encountered a record number of illegal alien border crossers who are on the terrorist watchlist.
- So far in fiscal year 2023, CBP has seized over 14,000 pounds of fentanyl coming across the southern border.
- Title 42 is ending on May 11, 2023, after which point up to 13,000 aliens per day are projected to arrive at the southern border.
- Last month, Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz testified before Congress that we do not have operational control of the border and that he needs a staffing level of 22,000 agents but currently has only 19,016 agents.
- Asylum fraud is helping fuel the border crisis. Asylum claims at the border have skyrocketed in the past decade. But despite passing credible fear interviews with USCIS asylum officers, about 90% of asylum applicants ultimately never receive asylum.
- Other countries in the region should be contributing to the solution and sharing the burden imposed by this massive wave of asylum-seekers. However, the Administration’s proposed asylum rule does not truly require (or even encourage) migrants to claim asylum in other safe countries, but merely funnels asylum-seekers to the U.S. border through the CBP One app.
- The massive influx of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) and family units is also fueling the border crisis. The number of unaccompanied alien children apprehended has spiked from 30,557 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 to 144,834 in FY2021 and 149,093 in FY2022.
- The Flores Settlement Agreement, which requires the government to release children “without unnecessary delay,” and has led to a spike in unaccompanied alien children migration; the family-release loophole added in 2015 has led to further exploitation by the cartels, which now “rent out” children to adults seeking to pose as fake family members.
- The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) codified mass catch-and-release of most unaccompanied alien children into the interior of the United States, with the only exception being for nationals of contiguous countries (Canada and Mexico) who don’t have either a credible fear of persecution or a likelihood of being trafficked if returned.
- Whether seeking asylum or not, the Biden Administration is encouraging the ongoing flood of illegal aliens at the border by releasing illegal aliens en masse into the United States, even unlawfully granting many aliens humanitarian parole which they can then use to obtain work authorization.
- The Administration further entrenched its abuse of parole authority by announcing in January that DHS would allow the entry of 30,000 migrants each month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
- There is no pretense of temporariness under Biden’s parole program – parolees have no intention of returning to these four nations, nor has the Biden administration set forth any mechanism for repeal of parole and compelling them to return to their home countries.
- While the border crisis rages, we can’t forget that a significant number of illegal aliens in the U.S. did not cross the border illegally, but overstayed their visas. Under current law, there are no civil or criminal penalties – such as fines or imprisonment – for overstaying a visa.
- One of the biggest magnets for illegal immigration is employment. There are well over 15 million illegal aliens in the country, many working unauthorized at the expense of American workers.
- The E-Verify system is a free, reliable, and proven program that helps employers ensure they are hiring a legal workforce, and will help end the magnet leading to illegal immigration and stop people from working illegally in the United States.
- Too many Americans have become victims of identity fraud due to illegal immigration, and this bill would protect them and new victims, especially children.
DIVISION A – BORDER SECURITY
- Requires the Department of Homeland Security to immediately restart border wall construction, ensuring that the wall is built along no less than 900 miles of our southern border.
- Increases manpower to a total of 22,000 full-time Border Patrol agents.
- Provides additional technology at border ports of entry to detect and prevent the entry of narcotics, contraband and illegal aliens.
- Authorizes Operation Stonegarden, a grant program to enhance cooperation and coordination among local, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies to secure the border.
- Provides that Air and Marine Operations must carry out a minimum of 110,000 annual flight hours and maintain unmanned aerial systems on the southern border 24 hours per day.
- Prohibits DHS funds to be disbursed to any non-governmental organization (NGO) providing transportation, lodging, or legal services to inadmissible aliens.
- Requires DHS to certify to Congress that it is collecting DNA and biometrics per federal law and that it has access to criminal history databases for screening illegal aliens.
- Instructs Customs and Border Protection to publish monthly information on the number of alien encounters and their nationalities, criminal characteristics, and related statistics.
- Limits the use of the CBP One phone app to inspection of perishable cargo only, banning it from being used to facilitate entry interviews for illegal aliens.
DIVISION B – IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS
TITLE I—ASYLUM REFORM AND BORDER PROTECTION
- Reforms the asylum process and raises the minimum standard for aliens to claim “a credible fear of persecution.”
- Introduces requirement that aliens must arrive at ports of entry to claim asylum, deterring illegal entries between ports.
- Prohibits asylum for aliens convicted of felonies and DUIs as well as members of criminal gangs.
TITLE II—BORDER SAFETY AND MIGRANT PROTECTION
- Severely limits the government’s ability to release aliens upon apprehension at the border by strengthening the law to mandatorily detain, return or remove illegal aliens.
- If the government cannot detain or return an alien to its home country or a safe third country, it must require the alien to wait in Mexico or Canada while their case is being considered.
- Gives the DHS Secretary the authority to turn away aliens without valid entry documents if doing so is necessary to maintain operational control of the border.
TITLE III – PREVENTING UNCONTROLLED MIGRATION FLOWS IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
- Authorizes the Secretary of State to seek to negotiate agreements between the United States and countries in the Western Hemisphere to ensure regional immigration enforcement.
- Requires that such agreements seek to ensure that Mexico allow illegal aliens applying for asylum in the United States to remain in Mexico while their applications are considered.
TITLE IV—ENSURING UNITED FAMILIES AT THE BORDER
- Reverses judicially imposed restrictions on detention of families that have led to unsustainable catch-and-release practices.
- Clarifies that families must be detained together if an alien enters illegally with minor children and that there is no presumption that an accompanied alien child should not be detained.
TITLE V—PROTECTION OF CHILDREN
- Applies consistent requirements for expeditious processing, screening and repatriation of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) to their home country, regardless of national origin.
- In the event that UACs are not repatriated due to a credible fear of persecution and/or human trafficking in their home country, the bill mandates that the child’s hearing before an immigration judge occur within 14 days after being screened.
TITLE VI—VISA OVERSTAYS PENALTIES
- Applies the same civil and criminal penalties for illegal entry to aliens who overstay their visas by 10 days or more days.
- Deters illegal immigration by those who overstay visas by increasing the civil penalty for illegal entry or attempted illegal entry from a range of $50 to $250 to a range of $500 to $1,000.
TITLE VII—IMMIGRATION PAROLE REFORM
- Significantly limits the Secretary’s parole authority so that broad, category-based parole programs cannot be established to circumvent Congress.
- Requires that parole be individually determined, based on strict new definitions of “significant public benefit” or “urgent humanitarian reasons.”
- Limits parole to one year and up to a one-year extension, and prohibits the ability of those on parole to work in the United States, with limited exceptions.
TITLE VIII—LEGAL WORKFORCE
- Mandates the use of E-Verify for all employers in a responsible, phased-in way.
- Repeals the paper based I-9 system, and gives employers a free, web-based system to verify the status of new hires.
- Increases penalties for noncompliance and hiring of illegal aliens.