Now the Senate's Turn to Act on H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act
FAIR Take | May 2023
Last Thursday, by a vote of 219 to 213, the House passed the Secure the Border Act of 2023, a monumental achievement and an important step towards ending the Biden border crisis.
More than 7 million people have illegally entered the United States since President Biden took office, and things are only likely to get worse now that he has ended Title 42 authority to swiftly expel illegal aliens. As we have seen over the past few days, the Biden Administration has utterly failed to prepare for this crisis or offer any meaningful policy changes or solutions, even though they have known for two years that the end of Title 42 would come.
In a recent interview with MSNBC, the President asserted that he has made efforts and that he sent a bill to Congress to reform our immigration system. His plan, though, announced on inauguration day, is completely centered around amnesty and a path to citizenship for people unlawfully in the country.
Members of Congress, mostly from the House majority, have visited the border themselves and seen the crisis. They have seen parents carry their children on their backs, young people thirsty and tired as they hike through the sun, and families trying to stick together through debris and rough terrain. That is why they responded with H.R. 2, which not only provides the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the manpower, infrastructure and technology it needs, but also includes statutory reforms to deter people from coming here illegally.
Among other key provisions, the Secure the Border Act:
- Restarts construction of the border wall;
- Adds thousands more Border Patrol agents, provides them needed resources, and gives them bonuses for working night and day to keep our nation safe;
- Provides additional technology at border ports of entry to detect and prevent the entry of narcotics, contraband and illegal migrants;
- Reforms our asylum process to deter frivolous claims and prohibit gang members, felons and drunk drivers from benefitting from our asylum system;
- Ends catch-and-release by strengthening our ability to detain, remove and return those aliens to their home country or another safe country;
- Prevents unaccompanied alien children surges at the border in a humanitarian way, ensuring they are screened and processed expeditiously with family members and sent home;
- Ends the DHS Secretary’s authority to grant humanitarian parole, so that broad, category-based parole programs cannot be established to circumvent Congress; and
- Mandates the use of E-Verify for all employers in a responsible, phased-in way.
The goal must be to end the exploitation of children, curb the growing power of the criminal cartels that control human and drug smuggling operations, end the abuse of our asylum system, and rein in the crushing burdens that Biden’s policies have imposed on the American people. The House has now acted by approving a bill that will accomplish all those things. As the crisis at the border is about to grow significantly worse, it is imperative that the Senate act immediately.
To access FAIR’s “activist tool kit” related to the bill, please visit our website. There, you will find a summary of the bill, background on why it’s needed, how your member of Congress voted on H.R. 2, and information on how you can help as the bill moves to the Senate.