UPDATED 8:00 PM PT – Wednesday, March 24, 2021
The border crisis under the Biden administration continues to worsen as GOP lawmakers and Americans alike are calling for reform.
On Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) proposed the Secure and Protect Act of 2021, to reform broken border policies and stop abuse of our asylum laws. The legislation would require any asylum applications from residents of the Northern Triangle, or countries that border it, be filed at refugee processing centers, rather than in the U.S.
The current situation at our southern border is beyond a crisis.
Today I’m introducing the Secure and Protect Act of 2021 to fix broken policies and stop abuse of our asylum laws.
The border will continue to be overrun unless the Biden Administration changes course. pic.twitter.com/JDPMHMzmNZ
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 24, 2021
While the U.S. allows migrants to apply for asylum if they are fleeing their country and seeking protection based on “persecution,” Graham noted the process needs to be reformed because the credible fear standard is too low.
“80 percent of people pass the credible fear standard, but when it comes to final adjudication, the final asylum standard, only 10 percent make it through the adjudicated process,” Graham stated. “So, what the Secure and Protect Act does, it changes the credible fear standard to make it a higher initial screening standard, which means that there will be less people having to wait for a final determination.”
Other provisions include modifying U.S. law to allow families to be held together for more than 20 days and appointing 500 new immigration judges to reduce the current backlog of cases.
Republican lawmakers have attributed the surge of illegal immigrants crossing the border to Biden’s policies as president, and even his statements on the campaign trail, including in the debates.
“I would in fact, make sure there is, we immediately surge to the border all those people seeking asylum,” Biden said. “They deserve to be heard, that’s who we are. We are a nation, where we say if you flee, if you’re fleeing oppression, you should come.”
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently testified on how the U.S. is facing the biggest migrant surge in 20 years, stretching resources thin and resulting in overcrowded conditions.
The question remains how much longer the Biden administration and Democrats will continue to try and shift the focus, rather than addressing the humanitarian crisis and join Republicans in calling for reform.