U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) joined with Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and a group of Senate Republican colleagues to introduce the Secure the Border Act of 2023. This bill passed the House of Representatives as H.R. 2 earlier this year.
The Secure the Border Act will resume construction on the wall, tighten asylum standards, criminalize visa overstays, increase the number of Border Patrol Agents, defund Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) receiving tax dollars to help traffic illegal aliens throughout the heartland, and prohibit the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from using its app to resettle illegal aliens.
“The Biden Administration’s open border policies have created a national security and humanitarian crisis on the U.S. southern border. This legislation will better protect our country by resuming construction of the border wall, reinstating proven border security policies, and increasing resources for our Border Patrol agents,” said Senator Young.
In addition to Senators Young and Cruz, Senators Mitch McConnell (R- Ky.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), JD Vance (R-Ohio), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) also co-sponsored this legislation.
The Secure the Border Act would enact effective border security solutions, including:
- Requiring DHS 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; and
- Ensuring U.S. Customs and Border Protection (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.
Full legislative text is available here.