GOP lawmakers lay out border security proposals for DHS

GOP lawmakers lay out border security proposals for DHS
© Greg Nash

A group of House conservatives sent a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan Thursday that outlined border security policies they hope the department will enact.

The lawmakers — GOP Reps. Michael Cloud (Texas), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyGOP lawmaker delays House for second week GOP lawmaker delays House for second week This week: Democrats move funding bills as caps deal remains elusive MORE (Texas), Scott PerryScott Gordon PerryLawmakers push to block pay raises for members of Congress Lawmakers push to block pay raises for members of Congress 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill MORE (Pa.), Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceHouse conservatives want information on TSA policies for undocumented immigrants House conservatives want information on TSA policies for undocumented immigrants Second Republican blocks disaster aid bill's passage in House MORE (Ga.), Mark GreenMark GreenOvernight Energy: Trump appoints Social Security watchdog to also oversee Interior | Critics question EPA guidance on pipelines | Battle over science roils EPA Overnight Energy: Trump appoints Social Security watchdog to also oversee Interior | Critics question EPA guidance on pipelines | Battle over science roils EPA Trump appoints Social Security Administration watchdog to also oversee Interior MORE (Tenn.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarTrump administration signals support for uranium mining that could touch Grand Canyon Trump administration signals support for uranium mining that could touch Grand Canyon House conservatives want information on TSA policies for undocumented immigrants MORE (Ariz.), Ken BuckKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckBiggs, Khanna launch bipartisan War Powers Caucus Biggs, Khanna launch bipartisan War Powers Caucus Woman accuses top US cardinal of mishandling church sexual abuse case MORE (Colo.), Brian Babin (Texas) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanCummings requests interview with Census official over new allegations on citizenship question Cummings requests interview with Census official over new allegations on citizenship question House Oversight Republicans release parts of Kobach, Trump officials' testimony on census citizenship question MORE (Ohio) — argued the agency should  “support the president” in his call to secure the southern border.

“Recent DHS statistics on the number of arrivals at our southern border are clear proof that what is currently being done, is not enough," the group wrote.

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The letter noted that two weeks ago U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost told the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration that, "as of March 31, 2019, 361,087 migrants have been apprehended between the points of entry (POEs) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, representing a 108 percent increase over the same time in FY 2018.”

“Current projections are that more than 1 million people will have crossed our southern border illegally this year. Our constituents, the American public, are confounded as to why more is not being done by your Department,” the letter said.

Proposals include expanding a training program for border patrol agents to conduct fear interviews, where an undocumented immigrant is referred to an asylum officer if they express fear of returning to their home country. 

Other proposals include limiting Immigration and Customs Enforcement's parole policy, limiting work authorization to only those whose asylum applications have been approved, increasing asylum fees and terminating the Flores settlement agreement.

“As the President continues to show leadership on this issue, we strongly encourage you to exercise the same manner of enthusiasm for fixing this crisis,” the letter says. “Included in this letter are proposals that would undoubtedly slow the surge at the border and provide context for long term immigration solutions.”

The group of immigration hard-liners also called for a third country agreement to be negotiated to allow undocumented immigrants to be relocated to another country that didn’t pose a threat in addition to enforcing “Migrant Protection Protocols,” which would require individuals from Central America to remain in Mexico while they await their immigration hearings.