Senate Republicans are set to propose a series of immigration bills on Wednesday seeking to address the crisis at the southern border.
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) is set to lead senate Republicans in offering this series of bills. Ernst told Fox News this week, “There’s a growing humanitarian and national security crisis at our southern border, and instead of continuing to recklessly rollback the previous administration’s policies, ones that were helping curb illegal immigration, the Biden administration and Senate Democrats should support these sensible solutions by Senate Republicans that will actually help address the crisis at our border.”
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Ernst will be proposing a bill called “Sarah’s Law” which is named after an Iowan woman, Sarah Root, who was killed by an illegal immigrant. The illegal immigrant was never detained by ICE and “never faced justice.” The bill proposed by Ernst would require that ICE take custody of all illegals that kill or seriously injure another person and it would also improve the victim notification system that lets victims and their families know what happened with their loved ones. “Michelle Root, Sarah’s mom, says it best: ‘I don’t understand why it is so hard to get this law passed. I don’t get Sarah back after this; this is for everyone else,’” Ernst said.
Senator Blackburn (R-TN) is also planning to introduce a bill that would require DNA tests for all migrants travelling with minors that are apprehended at the border. The DNA test would figure out whether the adult was related to the child like they claim. “Drug cartels and gangs are using children to falsely present themselves as family units and seek asylum at our southern border. These unaccompanied minors are especially vulnerable to trafficking and often forced to perform sex acts,” Blackburn said. Numerous other Republican senators are also working on bills to propose including Cruz (R-TX), Lee (R-UT), and Inhofe (R-OK).
According to Customs and Border Patrol, there have been 100,441 apprehensions in the month of February which is a 28 percent increase from January. The number of migrant children in federal custody has grown to 4,000 and 94 percent of beds have been filled up at the facilities. It remains unclear how Senate Democrats will respond to the Republicans proposed legislation. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has stated that the Biden administration “deserves an opportunity to respond” to the situation at the border.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has said that the Biden administration has the situation at the border “under control.” The White House so far has refused to call the situation a crisis. Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said “Children presenting at our border who are fleeing violence, who are fleeing prosecution, who are fleeing terrible situations is not a crisis.” FEMA, an organization whose mission states they help people “before, during, and after disasters,” has sent workers down to the border to help process the influx of migrants coming into ICE custody.
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ARTICLE: DUSTIN RODGERS
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: POLITICO