Cornyn Statement on VP Harris’ New Border ‘Strategy’ – Senator John Cornyn

‘The Vice President’s new ‘strategy’ implies she had a strategy to begin with’

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement today in response to the Vice President’s attempt to address the migrant crisis at the border with her new “Root Causes Strategy”:

“The Vice President’s new ‘strategy’ implies she had a strategy to begin with. For months she and President Biden have hidden, waffled, and done everything but tackle this crisis head on. Meanwhile, the situation on the border has gone from bad, to worse, to a catastrophe. Vice President Harris and the Biden Administration have yet to demonstrate they have the knowledge, experience, or will to fix the border crisis.  

“A successful strategy focuses on making reforms to speed up adjudication of asylum claims by judges, protect unaccompanied children, and deter those who do not have real claims from making the journey altogether. My bipartisan bill would do just that, and I stand ready to work with the Administration to actually fix this.”
 

Background:

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has introduced the Bipartisan Border Solutions Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill to respond to the surge in migrants coming across our southern border. This legislation would improve both the Department of Homeland Security’s and the Department of Justice’s capacity to manage migration influxes and adjudicate asylum claims in a timely manner, protect unaccompanied migrant children, reduce impact on local communities, ensure migrants are treated fairly and humanely, and ultimately deter those who do not have realistic asylum claims from placing themselves in danger by making the treacherous journey to our southern border.

It was introduced in April with Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and U.S. Representatives Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) and Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23).

The Bipartisan Border Solutions Act:

  • Establishes at least four regional processing centers in high-traffic Border Patrol sectors to properly handle the influx of migrants along the southwest border and improve interagency coordination.
  • Creates pilot programs to facilitate fairer and more efficient credible fear determinations and asylum decisions, while ensuring fairness in proceedings through provisions to protect access to counsel, language translation services, and legal orientations.
  • Establishes prioritized docketing of migrants’ immigration court cases during irregular migration influx events to deliver legal certainty for migrants., and disincentivize would-be migrants with weak asylum claims from making the treacherous journey to the southwest border.
  • Expands legal orientation programming and translation services, and protects access to counsel for migrants.
  • Implements new protections for unaccompanied migrant children released to sponsors in the United States, including regular follow-up and absolute bars on placement with persons convicted of certain crimes, such as sex offenders and child abusers.
  • Increases staffing to better handle irregular migration influx events, including 150 new Immigration Judge teams, 300 asylum officers, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations staff, ICE litigation teams, CBP officers, and Border Patrol processing coordinators. 
  • Improves DHS coordination with NGOs and local governments to prevent release of migrants into small communities that are poorly equipped to handle the influx of a large number of migrants.
  • Improves DHS, DOJ, and HHS reporting to Congress to support future legislative efforts in areas in which bipartisan agreement does not yet exist.