A group of House Republicans say they have a plan to secure America’s southern border, the Border Security and Enforcement Act of 2023.
The bill, when finalized, would grant the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security authority to suspend entry of inadmissible aliens into the U.S. in full or in part for the purpose of reestablishing operational control of the border. The legislation also gives state attorneys general the right to sue the secretary of homeland security if he or she fails to adequately detain illegal aliens.
Under HR 29, “any person, state, or local government that experiences financial harm in excess of $1,000 due to a failure of the federal government to lawfully apply the provisions of this act or the amendments made by this act shall have standing to bring a civil action against the federal government.”
“These policies are a common-sense response to the weaponization and defrauding of the asylum system as a tool to facilitate mass illegal immigration to the United States,” a coalition of pro-border security organizations wrote in a letter to members of Congress on April 4.
The coalition backing the border security bill includes The Heritage Foundation, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and the Texas Public Policy Foundation, as well as Mark Morgan, a former acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, and nearly two dozen other pro-border security organizations and individuals. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
Provisions of the bill “make key reforms to the gross abuse of the parole system, which the Biden administration is increasingly relying upon to import illegal aliens to the United States at an industrial scale,” reads the letter, released to the public Monday. “Furthermore, these policies would discourage parents from separating their own families to send unaccompanied alien children across the border, thereby protecting children from cartel, smuggler, gang, trafficking, and child labor abuse.”
The House Judiciary Committee will consider portions of the border bill Wednesday. The Committee on Homeland Security is expected, likely next week, to consider separate components of the measure. The two portions of the bill are then expected to be combined into one larger border security package and brought to the House floor for a vote later this spring.
“When the policies advanced by the House Judiciary Committee are combined with a forthcoming House Homeland Security Committee package into a single, flagship bill, the House will have shown the American people a forceful response to the Biden administration’s border crisis,” the coalition letter reads. “These policies will save American lives, mitigate the human suffering of mass illegal immigration, and restore American sovereignty, security, and well-being.”
Since fiscal year 2023 began Oct. 1, Customs and Border Protection has encountered more than 1.2 million illegal aliens at the southern border. CBP has also seized 13,800 pounds of fentanyl at the southern border since the start of the fiscal year.
Consideration of the border security bill comes as Republican lawmakers continue to call for the impeachment of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his failure to maintain operational control of the border. In February, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., filed articles of impeachment against Mayorkas, saying in a press release that Mayorkas “is the chief architect of the migration and drug invasion at our southern border.”
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