US officials confirmed this week that border patrol agents apprehended over 2,200 Central American migrants near El Paso, Texas on Memorial Day; raising serious questions over safety and security throughout the region.
“Border Patrol Agents in the El Paso sector apprehended more than 2,200 undocumented immigrants ‘who entered the country illegally’ on Memorial Day,” reports ABC El Paso.
“The record-setting day began in the boot heel of New Mexico with a large group of more than 200 undocumented immigrants apprehended near the Antelope Wells Port of Entry just after 2 a.m,” adds the local news channel.
Sen. Lindsey Graham unveiled a new immigration proposal two weeks ago that aims to end Central American asylum claims at the US-Mexico border and return unaccompanied children to their home countries.
“Graham’s bill is designed specifically to deal with loopholes he says are encouraging migrants from Central America to make the treacherous journey north and bring children with them. He pointed in particular to the 20-day limit for authorities to hold unaccompanied minors and families before having to release them into the U.S. homeland,” reports Fox News.
“This is a nightmare for smugglers,” Graham said. “This is a godsend to stop the humanitarian disaster.”
“The word is out on the street in Central America if you bring a minor child with you, your chance of being deported goes to almost zero, your hearing date is years away and we release you inside the country and that’s the goal of coming,” he said.
Lindsey Graham displays poster on new legislation:
– Asylum must be filed in country of origin or Mexico
– Treat Central American unaccompanied minors like those from Canada, Mexico
– Families held together up to 100 days
– 500 new immigration judgeshttps://t.co/AfEIFrfeM5 pic.twitter.com/oQ6Tvhpq16
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 15, 2019
The new legislation would end asylum claims at the US border but would permit individuals to request asylum at US embassies and consulates across Central America.
“If we do these four things, then the incentives created by our laws will cease to exist, this humanitarian disaster will begin to repair itself and I am willing to sit down with Democrats and find a way to address the underlying problem in Central America,” said Graham. “I am willing to put other immigration ideas on the table to marry up with this but what I am not willing to do is ignore this problem any longer.”
Sen. Graham was a key supporter of President Trump’s declaration of a “national emergency” at the border just months ago.