WASHINGTON – Congressman Andy Barr released the following statement tonight after acting to address the border crisis:
"Tonight, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed, with my support, two strong border security bills that would, if enacted, immediately and effectively address the humanitarian and national security crisis that has developed along the southern border of the United States. This crisis, which will result in an estimated 90,000 unaccompanied children entering the United States illegally through the end of this fiscal year, representing a 1,381 percent increase since 2009, was almost entirely caused by the Obama Administration's failure to secure the border, its unwillingness to enforce existing laws and its disastrous 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which invited this surge in illegal immigration.
“The action taken by the House tonight is a serious, bold and thoughtful legislative response to President Obama's failure to secure the border and ensure that the laws are faithfully executed. I appreciate House leadership for heeding the call that I and many of my colleagues made to stay in session and finish the work of the American people before the start of the August district work period. I strongly urge the Senate and President Obama to do their jobs, stop trying to score political points, listen to the American people, pass this bill and join the House in solving this very serious problem."
The House passed measures would:
- Authorize deployment of National Guard to the Southern border
- Boost Department of Homeland Security border security and enforcement activities, including processing and detention operations
- Accelerate judicial proceedings, including issuance of removal orders, and additional temporary judges to help address the increase in removal proceedings
- Strengthen the law prohibiting criminals with serious drug related convictions from applying for asylum
- Provide temporary shelter, food and humanitarian aid to unaccompanied children pending expedited removal proceedings, including a "last in, first out" policy that prioritizes the removal of minors that most recently arrived
- Redirect foreign aid to Central American countries to assist in repatriation efforts
- Amend a 2008 law to require that all unaccompanied minors are treated the same as Mexicans and Canadians for the purpose of expedited deportation and reunification with their families in their home countries
- Prohibit the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture from denying or restricting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) activities on federal land under their respective jurisdictions
- Express the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense should not house unauthorized aliens at military installations unless certain specific conditions are met
- Prohibit any agency or instrumentality of the federal government from using any funds or resources to administer the DACA program