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SENATE JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN CALLS CURRENT IMMIGRATION LAWS “INSANE”
by Sharon Rondeau
“What we are doing is not working,” Graham said of the nation’s current immigration laws, referring specifically to large numbers of Central-Americans who have been attempting to enter the United States since last October and other challenges.
In response to Bartiromo’s question as to when the legislation might be prepared, Graham said he is currently working with the White House and Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI).
Bartiromo repeated the administration’s contention that based on the number of “migrants” seeking entry since January, U.S. authorities are expecting as many as 1,000,000 to enter in 2019.
Graham said that “90%” of those applying for political asylum are not accepted and consequently, “that needs to change.”
Citing current law which allows the immediate return of Canadians and Mexicans if they fail to meet the standard for asylum but not those from any other nation, Graham said that a change in the law is necessary so all will be treated the same.
He also said that the “Flores decision,” a legal settlement which disallows illegal-alien children from being detained in U.S. custody for more than 20 days, “is a problem.” Currently, all family members must be released “into the country,” Graham explained, because of the decision, to keep them together while they await an immigration hearing for which a majority do not appear.
He said that “everybody” in Central America “knows” that there is insufficient bed space to hold those who manage to “set one foot” inside the U.S. and claim asylum, thereby encouraging more migration, in Graham’s view.
Because of a lack of congressional action over the last two years, President Trump has attempted to take executive action to curb the thousands of individuals, many in “caravans,” who are overwhelming the U.S. Customs & Border Patrol on a weekly basis. On Friday, a three-judge appellate-court panel approved the administration’s arrangement with Mexico for Central Americans seeking entry into the U.S. to await the processing of their asylum applications in Mexico rather than in the U.S.
“These laws are insane; we need to change them,” Graham said.
In the past, Graham has supported versions of a “DREAM Act” which would have provided a “path to citizenship” for certain illegal-aliens brought to the U.S. as children, a proposal he did not mention on Sunday.