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 RoyTrump congratulates China on anniversary as GOP lawmakers decry communist rule Texas Republicans sound alarm about rapidly evolving state GOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped MORE (Texas), Scott PerryScott Gordon PerryEx-Trump aide to tell Congress she objected to Ukrainian ambassador's removal: report Ex-Ukraine ambassador arrives to give testimony GOP, Trump look to smother impeachment inquiry MORE (Pa.), Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceGOP lawmakers, states back gunmaker in Sandy Hook appeal GOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped House conservatives call for ethics probe into Joaquin Castro tweet MORE (Ga.), Mark GreenMark GreenInterior gains new watchdog We need a new structure to secure our border Tackling China in modern Cold War MORE (Tenn.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarOvernight Energy: House moves to block Trump drilling | House GOP rolls out proposal to counter offshore drilling ban | calls mount for NOAA probe House approves two bills to block Trump drilling House GOP rolls out energy proposal to counter Democrats offshore drilling ban MORE (Ariz.), Ken BuckKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckThe House must act now on USMCA to build on the ecomomy's success Wave of GOP retirements threatens 2020 comeback With budget deal, Congress again fails to hold spending in check MORE (Colo.), Brian Babin (Texas) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel Jordan10 top Republicans who continue to deny the undeniable Ex-Trump aide to tell Congress she objected to Ukrainian ambassador's removal: report A Republican Watergate veteran's perspective on a Trump impeachment 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.