House Freshmen Introduce Strong Immigration Bills in House
Two House freshmen – Reps. Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.) and Bob Good (R-Va.) – began their tenure in Washington by introducing FAIR-supported immigration legislation. Both bills represent actual immigration reform in the interest of American citizens and of the United States as a whole, in stark contrast to massive amnesty-only measures proposed by the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats.
Rep. Good introduced H.R. 398, the “No Asylum for Criminals Act.” This bill prevents convicted criminals from receiving asylum protection. This prevents aliens with prior criminal offenses in the United States from receiving asylum and eventually legal permanent residence. The asylum case backlog exceeded 1.3 million cases when President Trump left office on January 20. This common-sense legislation would reduce the number of cases by making ineligible for asylum those applicants with prior criminal records – including those convicted of illegal re-entry and unlawful presence. If passed, H.R. 398 could significantly reduce this backlog by removing all aliens with these convictions from future case dockets.
Rep. Herrell introduced H.R. 471, the “Protecting Americans from Unnecessary Spread upon Entry (PAUSE) Act,” which would solidify former President Trump’s use of Title 42 to quickly remove illegal aliens in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Under Rep. Herrell’s bill, President Biden could not rescind the Title 42 border policy until all state and federal lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, curfews, and other COVID-19 mandates end, all public and federal public health emergencies for COVID-19 end, and until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reduce traveler health risk levels for Canada and Mexico to Level 1.
While different in scope, both bills are important, narrowly-tailored bills addressing pressing issues in the sphere of immigration. Rep. Herrell’s “PAUSE Act” would ensure that President Biden does not prematurely end Title 42 – an important tool slowing the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic – because of political pressure from open borders activist groups. Rep. Good’s “No Asylum for Criminals Act” tightens up our broken asylum process and lessens the burden of the immigration court backlog by preventing convicted criminal aliens from receiving asylum.
Due to Democratic control of both the House and Senate – as well as the veto power of President Biden - it is extremely unlikely that these bills become law in the 117th Congress. That is unfortunate, because both bills, absent any political considerations, are solutions to specific problems that we face today. FAIR applauds both Reps. Good and Herrell for introducing these common-sense immigration reforms their first month in office.