WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has introduced the Families Act, legislation to address family separation at the border. The bill restores the Obama administration’s policy of detaining families to deter illegal immigration and strengthen border security.
“In dealing with families illegally crossing the border, our broken immigration system leaves law enforcement with only two options — both of them bad. They can either enforce the law, which practically requires children to be separated from parents, or they must revert to a policy of ‘catch and release.’ The Families Act addresses this specific problem by overriding the court decision that has produced the current lose-lose situation and by providing the resources to expeditiously adjudicate asylum claims. I hope all my colleagues on the committee – Democrat and Republican – will continue to work with me in good faith to advance a bill that finds common ground and a workable alternative to the unacceptable status quo.”
The Families Act seeks to address four goals identified at the committee’s hearing on the issue Tuesday and at a bipartisan meeting last month:
- Secure our borders
- Enforce our immigration laws
- Maintain reasonable asylum standards
- Keep asylum-seeking families together
The bill text can be found here.