U.S. lawmakers propose bill to handle influx of migrants on southern border
Four U.S. lawmakers have proposed a bill to handle the influx of migrants on the southern border.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzalez, R-San Antonio, and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Sinema, D-Arizona, are working across the aisle to introduce a new bill they believe will address the influx of migrants; the Bipartisan Border Solutions Act.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said the nation's immigration system is overwhelmed.
Cuellar said over 15,300 people were recently released on an 'honor system.'
"They are asked that in 60 days, they find the closest ICE office and report to them," Cuellar said.
Cuellar said the cost of caring for migrant children has increased from $260 a day to almost $800 a day due to the need to build emergency facilities to handle the influx.
"In two days, to keep one child, for just two days," Cuellar said. "We spend more money than Americans got on their stimulus check."
Cornyn said the system needs to deter illegal immigration when someone "doesn't have a legitimate claim for asylum."
The proposed bill would create four regional processing centers in high-traffic areas to handle the demand. The proposed legislation would also improve the asylum system by adding 150 immigration judge teams, 300 asylum officers, and language translation services for people in immigration proceedings.
However, advocates at the nonprofit organization La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) say the definition of asylum is too narrow.
According to the Transactional Records Acmes Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, about 1% of people completing asylum at the border received asylum.
"Recently, especially in the last year because of the pandemic and because of the storms in Central America," John Michael Torres with LUPE said. "That fueled people's needs to leave immediately."