Cornyn HUMANE Act Would Address Crisis at the Border
by John Cornyn on June 6, 2019 at 3:31 PM
Yesterday on the floor, I called on Democrats to support a real solution to the humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border, like his HUMANE Act. Excerpts of my floor remarks are below, and video can be found here.
First, we need to get additional funding to the departments and agencies that are trying to manage this crisis and care for the migrants in their custody.
Without action here in Congress, funding could dry up by the end of this month, creating an even more dire situation.
But that's not a fix. That's a patch. Any sort of lasting change cannot be solved by a funding bill or by tariffs. It has to be solved by something only Congress can do, by passing legislation that addresses the root of the problem.
The HUMANE Act is bipartisan, it's bicameral, and it would provide real relief for folks in Texas and other border states who are struggling to manage the crisis.
I know most of our Congressional Democratic friends have adopted the posture of reflexively standing against the President on anything and everything that he asks for.
I think this is a much better solution than tariffs on Mexican goods brought into the United States.
I would urge all my colleagues to take a serious look at the HUMANE Act so we can finally do our part, that only we in Congress can do, to stem the flow of Central American migrants who are flooding our borders and prevent criminals and human smugglers from infiltrating our country as they are doing now.
Background on the HUMANE Act:
Improving Care of Children and Families at the Border:
- Requires DHS to keep families together during court proceedings and provide additional standards of care for families being held in DHS facilities*
- Improves Due Process for unaccompanied children and family units by prioritizing their claims for relief in immigration courts.
- Provides safeguards to prevent unaccompanied children from being placed in the custody of dangerous individuals.
- Requires DHS to continually update their regulations to prevent and combat sexual abuse and assault in DHS facilities.
- Fixes a loophole in current law to allow unaccompanied children from non-contiguous countries to be voluntarily reunited with their families in their home country.*
- Clarifies that the Flores settlement agreement applies to unaccompanied children apprehended at the border.
Streamlining Processing and Increasing Resources at Ports of Entry:
- Mandates the hiring of additional DHS personnel, upgrades and modernization of our nation’s ports of entry to expedite legitimate trade and travel.
- Improves processing of humanitarian relief claims by requiring certain applications take place at designated ports of entry.*
- Requires DHS to establish four or more Regional Processing Centers in high-traffic areas to process and house family units in a humane environment.*
- Requires the Executive Office for Immigration Review to assign at least two immigration judges to each of the Regional Processing Centers that DHS is required to establish along the southern border.
- Mandates a strategy and implementation plan from the Department of State regarding foreign engagement with Central American nations.
*Recommendation of the bipartisan DHS Homeland Security Advisory Council