WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, cosponsored the Secure the Border Act of 2023. This legislation would resume construction on the wall, tighten asylum standards, criminalize visa overstays, increase the number of Border Patrol Agents, defund NGOs receiving tax dollars to help traffic illegal aliens throughout the heartland, prohibit DHS from using its app to assist illegal aliens, and more.
Companion legislation (H.R. 2) passed the House of Representatives in May.
Graham introduced the legislation along with Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), JD Vance (R-Ohio), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), Eric Schmitt (R-Missouri), Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama), Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Katie Britt (R-Alabama), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Budd (R-North Carolina), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), Todd Young (R-Indiana), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Thune (R-South Dakota), and John Cornyn (R-Texas).
“To say our southern border is broken is an understatement,” said Graham. “The open border crisis created by the Biden Administration hurts our national security, our economy and makes America less safe. A broken border allows fentanyl to flow and terrorists to enter our country. I am pleased to support this bill that aims to better protect our border and those agents who defend it. This aggressive border security proposal supported by the House Republicans is the necessary medicine to fix a huge problem.”
Sen. Cruz said, “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.”
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.