Portman, Risch Lead Bill to Combat Crisis at the Southern Border

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Jim Risch (R-ID), Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the Solving the Border Crisis Act. This bill will secure the southern border by resuming construction of the border wall, strengthening management and enforcement capacities, and upholding the rule of law.

“The skyrocketing amounts of fentanyl and unlawful migrants coming over our border must stop. The irresponsible and dangerous border policies of this administration are allowing Mexican transnational criminal organizations to traffic record numbers of unlawful migrants and deadly, illicit narcotics into communities in Ohio and throughout the country,” said Portman. “That’s why I’m proud to introduce this bill to implement the recommendations from our recent border report to end the catastrophe at our border to ensure the safety and security of all Americans.”

“The Biden administration’s dismantling of the effective immigration system it inherited has created a full-blown disaster at the southern border. The past few months of illegal migrant encounters have broken every record in the book, and there is no end in sight unless we secure our border with strong immigration policies,” said Risch. “Using several of the findings of my recent migration report, I’m proud to introduce the Solving the Border Crisis Act to prevent this national security and public health disaster from getting any worse.”

The Solving the Border Crisis Act will:

  • Extend Title 42 until at least 60 days after the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • Immediately resume border wall construction.
  • Make the “Remain in Mexico” program permanent.
  • Terminate a Biden administration rule allowing asylum officers to hear asylum claims instead of immigration judges.
  • Establish minimum staffing levels for immigration enforcement and border patrol.
  • Ensure sufficient detention facilities are funded for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to meet requirements.
  • Determine if Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is collecting the DNA of unlawful migrants as authorized by law to help with criminal investigations in the U.S.

Text of the bill can be found here.

A one pager on the bill can be found here.

Background: In May, the most recent operational statistics available, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) once again broke the border encounter record. Last month, Portman and Risch published a report titled “Biden’s Border Crisis: Examining Policies that Encourage Illegal Migration” outlining how the administration’s policies have exacerbated the crisis at the southern border and incentivized unlawful migration. Read the full report, here.

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