On Monday, U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and James Lankford (R-OK) unveiled a proposal to secure the country’s southern border.
The group said their proposal would address policies that have led to a crisis at the southern border. Drawn from H.R. 2, the proposal would prioritize policy reform to secure the border and stem the flow of migrants across it. Graham, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the threats to national security are at the highest they’ve ever been.
“We must make policy changes to reduce the flow of immigration,” Graham said. “The world is on fire and threats to our homeland are at an all-time high. President Biden’s border policies are not working and it’s time to change course. Our proposal makes the necessary changes that our country needs at this critical time.”
The group said their proposal would not throw money at the problem but change policies that have allowed the migrant issue to become what it is. Their proposal includes measures that increase pay for border patrol agents and provide incentives for border agent retention, strengthens border security and fixes the asylum process. Additionally, the proposal would require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to resume construction of the border wall and to take the necessary action to achieve situational awareness and operational control of the border via tactical infrastructure, and advanced surveillance and technology.
The proposal would also prohibit DHS from using broad class-based criteria when granting humanitarian parole and allow parole for migrants who are not present in the United States, with narrow exceptions. And the policy would force migrants to return to a contiguous country during their immigration proceedings if DHS can’t detain or remove them to a safe third country.
“We have needed significant updates in border security law for years,” Lankford, ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Government Management and Border Operations, said. “But President Biden has allowed the cartels to exploit the loopholes in our asylum laws like no other President in history. We must close those loopholes and secure our border.”