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On Wednesday, U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) reintroduced the Border Crisis Prevention Act to address many factors contributing to our nation’s border crisis, including problems with our asylum system, a lack of immigration judges, and barriers to detention. Congresswoman Lesko previously introduced this legislation in the 117th Congress and 116th Congress.

“Since day one, President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas have worked to open our southern border and have created the worst border crisis on record,” said Congresswoman Lesko. “For border states like Arizona, this crisis has become an unmitigated humanitarian crisis as well as a threat to the safety of our communities. I am pleased to reintroduce this important legislation to address many factors contributing to the border crisis, fix our broken immigration system, and work to restore our nation’s border security.”

The first provision of this legislation increases the integrity of the asylum system by increasing the credible fear standard for asylum claims. Under our current system, very few individuals who ask for asylum are ultimately granted asylum because they ask for asylum for the wrong reasons. Legitimate asylum claims are intended for vulnerable men, women, and children who have been persecuted or have a true fear for their lives in their home country.

Another provision permits the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate a country to be a safe third country and remove asylum seekers to safe third countries where they can apply for asylum without the need for bilateral agreements. This allows asylum seekers from Central America to be returned to Mexico and claim asylum there as long as the secretary designates Mexico to be a safe third country. The United States and Canada currently have this agreement in place.

Next, the bill gives the resources necessary to enforce our immigration laws by authorizing funding for the amount of Immigration and Customs Enforcement bed space that the Secretary of Homeland Security determines necessary to enforce immigration laws.

The bill also addresses the immigration court backlog by providing an additional 100 immigration judges to reduce the asylum backlog.

To address issues with frivolous asylum applications, the bill states that if the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General of the United States determine that an alien has knowingly made a frivolous application for asylum, the alien will be permanently ineligible for asylum. It also adds more factors that can be used by the Department of Homeland Security to figure out if someone is frivolously applying for asylum. The department is also permitted to conduct necessary investigations surrounding asylum claims and their supporting documents to cut down on asylum fraud.

Lastly, the bill permits the detention of dangerous illegal immigrants. Currently, the United States is unable to remove an alien even if they have committed crimes. This bill will keep dangerous criminal immigrants off our streets. The bill specifies that a small segment of criminal immigrants may be detained for an extended period, including dangerous criminals and individuals who are threats to our national security. Their cases can be reviewed every six months.

Lesko was joined by Representatives Brian Babin (R-TX-36), Matt Gaetz (R-FL-01), Clay Higgins (R-LA-03), and Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01) in introducing this legislation.

Author: Press Release


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