Sen. Lindsey Graham debuted a new immigration bill on Wednesday to tackle the “perfect storm brewing at the border,” taking aim at Central American migrants who he says have relied on immigration loopholes for too long.
The legislation would authorize Homeland Security to deport unaccompanied Central American children en masse, assign 500 federal judges to help with the backlog of immigration cases, and establish refugee processing centers in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
“Word is out on the streets in Central America that if you bring a child with you — regardless of whether or not it is actually your child — America’s laws can be manipulated to allow you to stay in the United States,” said the South Carolinar Republican said in a statement.
Graham’s proposal would prohibit migrants from claiming asylum at the U.S. border. Instead, the petitions would move to the northern triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, where the bulk of the migrants are coming in from.
It would allow families to be held for 100 days while making their asylum claim as opposed to the current 20.
The administration claims that the current policy is being abused, allowing migrants who bring children to go free. They’ll then skip their asylum hearings.
The bill would also green light the deportation of unaccompanied minor migrants from those countries.
Graham’s proposal comes a day before President Trump unveils his own immigration overhaul.
“I hope Democrats will work with us to find a partisan solution,” said the senator. “This isn’t a hoax or a manufactured crisis. It is real and serious. Today’s introduction begins the debate on a fix.”