WASHINGTON, D.C., September 19, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, recently joined Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and 25 colleagues in introducing the Secure the Border Act, the Senate’s companion bill to the House of Representatives’ H.R. 2.
The legislation would resume construction of the wall at the southern border, strengthen asylum standards, criminalize visa overstays, increase the number of Border Patrol agents, defund NGOs that are using tax dollars to resettle migrants within the United States, and end the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s use of the CBP One app to assist illegal migrants.
“The numbers at the southern border continue to shatter records, but President Biden still refuses to even acknowledge the problem,” said Senator Britt. “Vulnerable children, women, and men are dying every day as a result, and hardworking families and communities in every corner of America are suffering. We need to enact substantive solutions that will end this national security and humanitarian crisis, not let the Biden Administration continue to facilitate it. I won’t stop fighting to secure the border, combat the flood of fentanyl, support our tremendous law enforcement officers, and cut off the incentives that encourage more people to break the law.”
“Under Joe Biden, we have a wide-open southern border. The Biden Border Crisis has created the largest illegal immigration crisis in our nation’s history. Biden’s open borders are an invitation for the cartels to brutalize children, to assault women, to overrun our communities with illegal aliens, and to flood this country with narcotics and fentanyl that kill over 100,000 people per year. This bill would stop the Biden Border Crisis dead in its tracks by building the wall, ratcheting up asylum standards, increasing the number of Border Patrol Agents, and implementing effective border security policies,” stated Senator Cruz.
In addition to Senator Britt and Cruz, co-sponsors of the bill include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.Dak.), Senate Republican Conference Chair John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), and Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), JD Vance (R-Ohio), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Hoeven (R-N.Dak.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.Dak.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).
The Secure the Border Act enacts effective border security solutions, including:
- Requiring the Department of Homeland Security to resume border wall construction.
- Increasing the number of Border Patrol Agents.
- Tightening asylum standards by restricting asylum to only aliens who present at ports of entry and by requiring aliens to prove they are “more likely than not” to qualify for their asylum claim.
- Narrowing DHS’s power to unilaterally grant parole to illegal aliens.
- Criminalizing visa overstays by making the first offense a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and the second offense a felony punishable by up to a $2,000 fine and up to two years imprisonment.
- Stopping NGOs from using tax dollars to transport or lodge illegal aliens and provide illegal aliens with lawyers.
- Restricting DHS from using its CBP One app to welcome illegal aliens into the country.
- Requiring employers to use E-Verify.
- Ensuring CBP has access to the criminal history databases of all countries of origin and transit so that CBP is aware of the criminal history of illegal aliens encountered at the southern border.
The full text of the Secure the Border Act is available here.
Senator Britt has made border security and the safety of American children, families, and communities a top focus during her first several months in office. She introduced a robust package of four pieces of legislation and has cosponsored an additional 12 related to the topic, including Senator Marsha Blackburn’s (R-Tenn.) Stop Taxpayer Funding of Traffickers Act; Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) Immigration Parole Reform Act of 2023 and Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act; Senator Ted Budd’s (R-N.C.) Build the Wall Now Act; Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) No Coyote Cash Act and Felony Murder for Deadly Fentanyl Distribution Act; Senator Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) Stopping Border Surges Act; Senator Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) Border Safety and Security Act; Senator John Kennedy’s (R-La.) Fairness in Fentanyl Sentencing Act of 2023; Senator Cruz’s Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act; Senator Tim Scott’s (R-S.C.) FEND Off Fentanyl Act; and Senator John Cornyn’s (R-Tex.) joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to strike down President Biden’s Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule.