Lindsey Graham announces new immigration legislation

Channel: Fox Business
Published: 05/15/2019 02:40 PM

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham holds a press conference on "legislation to address the crisis at the southern border." FOX Business Network (FBN) is a financial news channel delivering real-time information across all platforms that impact both Main Street and Wall Street. H...

Good morning today, i'm going to introduce legislation designed to deal with the crisis at our border. Mr. john sanders who's the acting customs and border patrol director who will describe the problem that our folks are facing at the border, and this is all focused on central america. There'S been a 64 % increase and people apprehended at the border family units before it would be a lot of young ...
ales trying to illegally cross into the country. Now we see people coming as family units. The number of the soliman claims coming from central america is going through the roof. The number of unaccompanied minors coming from central america is going through the roof and he will tell youabout the problem in terms of capacity to deal with the issue. What i'm trying to do is explain how to stop the flow from central america to regain control of our border and stop a humanitarian crisis that i think is just going to get worse over time. One of the most important things i can stress to you is that people are trying to get caught, they're, not avoiding getting caught. So when we talk about building a wall, as republicans that makes sense to stop illegal entry into the country, try to direct people into areas where we have a better chance of a purring apprehending them that doesn't work when the goal of the person isto find a Border patrol agent and turn yourself in i'm in charge of foreign assistance in the appropriations committee, i actually created the alliance for prosperity. 750 million dollar account working with vice president biden to provide economic assistance deal with corruption in enhancing security in the northern triangle countries. You could triple that amount of money and not stop this problem so to those who want to give more money to central america, it won't stop the problem they're going to keep coming to the united states, because life is better here than it is there and no Matter money is going to stop people from coming, no matter how high the wall will be built.

No matterhow, many drones. You have no money, no matter how many agents you put at the border. They will keep coming because they want to get caught and here's what's happened when they turned themselves in, if you're, an unaccompanied minor from central america under our law, we can only hold you twenty days at dhs, then we turn you over to labor hhs. 98 % of the unaccompanied minors who make it to america from central america never leave the united states, so families know this word is out on the street in the northern triangle, countries that, if your child can get here by themselves, then the chance of them staying In america is almost 100 percent, weren't sinof izing a horrible journey, we're providing incentives to people to send their children by hiring a smuggler through hell to get to this country, and only god knows what they go through to get here under our law. If you come as a unit family unit - and you have a minor child, we can only hold the family for twenty days because we don't want to separate the family. We don't have enough detention bed space, we released the entire family after 20 days. So word is out on the street in central america that if you bring a minor child with you, your chance of being deported goes to almost zero. Your hearing date is years away. Andwe release you inside the country and that's the goal of coming. So this legislation is going to deal with the problem that mr. saunders is about to describe. I do four things that are required to stop this humanitarian crisis and threat to our sovereignty in the future.

You can apply for an asylum from central america, but you have to do so in an american consulate or embassy in your home country and we're gon na try to set up a facility in mexico. No more asylum claims at the us border if you're from central america, if you're an unaccompanied minor, we're gon na change the law to allow the minor to be sent back to their home countryin a safe and secure fashion, as if the minor child was from mexico Or canada there's a loophole in our law that we're going to close instead of having 20 days to process a family with a minor child, we're going to increase it to a hundred days so that the family can be detained humanely and we can get the claim Processed and not have to release them into the country, we're going to hire 500 new immigration judges to deal with a nine hundred thousand person asylum backlog to clear the backlog. If we'll do these four things, then the incentives that's created by our laws will cease to exist. This humanitarian disaster will begin to repairitself and i'm willing to sit down with democrats to find a way to address the underlying problem in central america. I'M willing to put other immigration ideas on the table to marry up with this, but what i'm not willing to do is to ignore this problem any longer. If you look at this problem - and you think the bad guys are the men and women at dhs - the border patrol labor, hhs you're missing the point that bad people are there smugglers. The good people are the ones who are trying to humanely take care of a problem. That'S overwhelming this system and one of the bad guys in this drama is congress itself. Republicans and democrats havelet this problem fester. It'S now got to the point that it can't be ignored any longer. I support comprehensive immigration. Reform did in the past will in the future, but the situation we have on the border today is horrible.

It'S unimaginable that it can be sustained and my solution will stop the problem and i am willing to work with democrats to do some things they want to do, but the status quo must stop and to give you a better explanation of what our nation faces from This crisis john good morning, i would like to start by saying i am proud to be here today, representing the men and women of customs and border protection. Ouragents and officers are well-trained, experienced and compassionate law enforcement professionals. For months these men and women have faced a crisis that poses unprecedented humanitarian and operational challenges, unlike anything they have encountered. Never before has the united states border patrol experienced a situation where agents spend more than 50 percent of their time, caring for families and children, providing medical assistance, driving buses and acting as food service providers. Our apprehension numbers are off the charts compared to recent years. Let me briefly go over some of those numbers for you today. So far, this fiscal year we've apprehended nearly five hundred and twenty thousand people on the southern border. In the past seven days, we have averaged over4,500 arrests per day. In the last two weeks. We'Ve had our highest single day over 5,200 apprehensions and our single largest group of more than 420 illegal aliens. Already this fiscal year we have surpassed the total southern border apprehensions of every fiscal year since 2009, the number of family units and unaccompanied children has skyrocketed to 64 % of southern border apprehensions. So far this year we have apprehended more than two hundred and eighty five thousand family unit aliens and nearly 50 thousand unaccompanied children.

In the month of april alone, we had forty-two thousand children in cbp custody. These are extremely vulnerable populations. They represent significant challenges, not only because of the additional care they require. Butbecause, our immigration system treats them differently than single adults. For the first time in border patrol history, nearly half the adults we apprehend in april brought children. They have clearly received the message loud and clear, bring a child. You will be released, though we have added new soft-sided facilities to el paso, rio grande valley and soon to yuma border patrol sectors. Our short-term holding facilities remain beyond capacity. We are trying to cope with this to address the volume we've detailed agents from the northern and coastal borders, officers from cbp's office of field operations across the country and our brothers and sisters from other dhs components. However, even with the additional detailed staffing our field, commandershave had to pull agents away from the border to process, reduce task force, participation, postpone training and closed checkpoints. This is a risk to national security. It is unsustainable and cannot and should not continue.

Children should not have to sleep on the ground huddle under mylar blankets. This is the united states of america. We can and we must do better as a country, but let me be clear about this. Cbp cannot address this crisis simply by shifting maurice or building more facilities. In recent testimony before congress, chief provost's use the analogy that it is like holding a bucket under a faucet. If we can't turn off the flow it doesn't matter. How many more bucketsyou give me to address the flow of illegal immigration? We must be able to apply consequences for illegally crossing the border. I also want to emphasize that we must stop directing our frustration and our ire at the brave men and women of cbp who go out to meet this challenge every day and who do their very best to cope with a worsening emergency. I'Ve been asked by numerous people about what keeps me up at night. My response is always the same. Every night i go to sleep, praying that nobody in our custody dies of an illness or injury every night. I also pray that our agents and officers who are some of the most dedicatedpeople i have ever had the privilege of working with remain resilient enough to stay healthy themselves.

We must stop demonizing the very people who are caring for these vulnerable children and families, as if they were their own. Changing diapers, mixing formula, comforting and reassuring those who are who are understandably confused and frightened make no mistake. The situation on the southern border is a crisis. It is a crisis on several levels for months, cbp has been very transparent in messaging that this is both a humanitarian and an operational crisis. It is also a policy congress. Crisis and congress must take immediate and meaningful action. Most importantly, while we apply this word crisis to the humanitarian situationunfolding on the southern border, we must. We must remember that it is just a word, and now more than ever, we need more than words. We need action. We must direct our attention to fixing the laws that have brought us to this crisis. The laws that the officers, ins, agents of cbp swear an oath to uphold 128 brave men and women of the u. s.

border patrol have paid the ultimate sacrifice in their 90th year. 95 year history, i implore congress to act, so their sacrifices are not in vain. Thank you very much questions, yes, good question. So what i'm trying to do is cut off the faucet. The bucket approach is not working, word isout on the street and i have the ads. But since i don't speak spanish, i couldn't translate them for you. In central america there are advertisements that say that if you come to america and you apply for asylum, they have to give you a hearing and they're right. People are trying to get apprehended they're, not avoiding detention and under our law you're entitled to a hearing. It could take three or four years for your hearing is scheduled and we don't have detention space to hold you for three or four years. So word is out on the street. If you apply for asylum, you're gon na be let loose in the country. The reason there's been aspike in minor children is, if you bring a minor child with you, you can't be held more than twenty days, i'm trying to go to 100 days and right now we don't have the bed space to detain the family.

So we got to do two things: we got to have a longer processing, time, processing, time and more bed space, but if we did those two things most of this flow would stop and when it comes to unaccompanied minors, if the word got out on the street That the child could be sent back to their home country like if you came from canada and mexico, it would destroy the smugglers business. This is a nightmare forsmugglers. This is a a godsend to stop the humanitarian disaster, but a nightmare for smugglers as to the administration's immigration plan. It'S about border security and it's about merit-based immigration. This component is in the border security plan. What i've done is take out of the border security plan. The acute problem a wall will not fix this, people are trying to be captured, more border. Patrol agents are necessary, but people are not trying to avoid an agent. They literally ask: where are the border patrol agents, so they can turn themselves in until you stop this problem, we can never regain control of our border. Regarding central america, good question to my democratic colleagues, we've done similarthings in the gang of eight as part of a comprehensive bill. These legal loopholes are creating a humanitarian disaster for those who take the journey and overwhelming the border patrol and it used to be a manufactured crisis, but i don't think that exist anymore in the minds of my democratic colleagues. They introduced legislation yesterday and i haven't read all of it, but they allow refugee centers to be set up, processing centers in the home country of the triangle, countries, and maybe even in mexico - they're not required to go to the refugee centers, but they can - and i See that as a step in the right direction, what i want to do is basically say: asylumclaims coming from central america have to me be made in that country or mexico.

So now, what would a democrat need to help me change these laws to help these people? I don't know, but i'm very open to talking with them about what they would need right. No, not really, because we need a wall. You'Ve got two flows here right. You have traditional illegal immigration, smuggling sex trafficking, drugs, people trying not to get caught. Then you have people wanting to get caught from central america, because these loopholes in our law, so you need to do a couple things. You need to build out your border to make it secure so that people can't cross illegallywho are trying to avoid detection. You need to deal with the magnets in loopholes in the law that entice people to come, who want to get caught. They'Re not inconsistent, but when democrats say we need to invest more in central america, i will say yes you're right, but there's no one, not enough money in the world. It'S going to stop this as long as the laws entice people to come. So if you want to increase economic development allayed to central america as part of this package, i would gladly do that because i do realize that the root cause of this is the economic conditions in these countries. Yes, i believe this is what's in theborder package is very similar to this he's here, telling me that if we do these things, it shuts off the faucet. What i did was ask the experts on the ground.

What do i need to do to help you, everybody? Who goes to the border comes back pretty depressed. You know, tom friedman went to the border and said it is not manufactured so rather than me talking about what i want to do. I went to the people in charge and here's what they told me. We'Ve got more asylum claims than we can process 900,000. Helped me with a backlog. We'Ve got to change the law so that they have to apply for asylum in theirown country, because we can't accommodate the asylum claim because we're full basically - and they also said the minor child problem - has to be addressed. As long as you have a child with you and twenty days, it's a standard, we can't process the claim in twenty days. We need more time and we need more bed space and when it comes to unaccompanied minors, the best way to stop that flow is to send them back to their country, like you would, if, for some mexico and canada well, i think i taught was senator durbin. Yesterday, you know, we've had our moments, but dick durbin is a knows. This topic as well as anybody i've ever met. Ithink senator durbin understands this is a crisis it's going to get worse and here's what to think about. If we do nothing, what's it gon na look like next year, can you imagine if these trends continue by the summer of 2020? I think congress has been put on notice by the experts and, if you think this is a trump created problem, you really just hate trump, because this problem has been long in the making before trump got here and as a republican.

If you think we can just do this by building a wall you're wrong, so my hope is that the pressure from the national security point of view, the humanitarian crisis, some allegiance to themen and women that we task to do this job will compel us to act. Yeah, it's really a good question if we can find a reasonable solution - and this is the pillar of it. This is the foundation and the president says no to more immigration reforms than i think he will own this problem. Yep democrats won't even talk with us and won't make a good-faith effort to stop this. They owned the problem and most americans could give a crap about who owns this problem. Most americans are going to put us all in one big pot that were incapable of solving problems that needs to be fixed, so the upside of saying no to a reasonableproposal for either party is it's pretty small. I think the public is going to have a backlash against the institution of the congress into president trump. You'Ve correctly identified the problem you're right to want more money for a wall, you're right to want a merit-based immigration system, you're right to support these changes, because without these changes nothing changes now here's the task for you. Mr. president, you had a meeting of the republicans and democrats and you said, send me a bill and i will sign it. We send him a bill and he didn't sign it. So i am urging the president to lead us to a solution.

I'M urging my democratic colleagues in spite ofyour dislike and displeasure with this president, find a solution to this problem quickly, not nothing to any republican who doesn't want to find a solution. Then you own the problem. Then you need to go back to your states in your district and explain how you're going to fix this problem without a democrat and to a democrat, if you want things that the market won't bear, then i think - and i know pretty much where the market is On this, the democratic party has marginalized this issue. They have told you. This is not a problem. Trump created this problem when trump president trump made his state of the union speech. Every democrat said this is just trumphysteria trump demagoguery. My democratic colleagues and your credibility on this issue is pretty low right now. You need to understand that you were wrong. This was a real problem to the president. You need to do more than talk about fixing. You need to fix it.

Yeah we're gon na. Do something unheard of in the senate we're going to go back to regular order, we're going to have a hearing, so people can test this proposition if they come up with a change that, i think, makes sense, i will change it. Then we're gon na have a markup in the process of having a hearing in a markup. I hope democrats will say all right i'd like tochange it this way, but i also like you to include this daca, you name it then we'll start talking with each other. About a solution that will stop the flow from central america, they'll allow us to get rid of the 900,000 person backlog, take the pressure off our border security personnel and also maybe fix some things beyond this problem. So what i'm going to do is have a hearing, then we'll have a markup, and i would encourage the white house who met yesterday. With democrats there was a meeting with white house personnel with some democratic senators. I'M somewhat optimistic, chief-of-staff mulvaney has been personally involved in this. I think he understands being in congress toget what you want. You got to give something. Thank you all yeah. Well, i guess the short answer is that the president shot down the idea we're going to deploy a hundred twenty thousand people, but removing personnel from embassies and consulates is clearly a serious move by the state department.

They feel the threat and i would urge the state department and dod to come down here and explain to us what's going on, because i have no idea of what the threat stream is beyond what i read in the paper, and i think there are a lot Of people in my shoes that are going to support standing up to ron, but we need to understandwhat we're doing so. I would urge the administration to come down here and and brief members of congress about the threat as they see it coming from iran. One more question sure sure, as i said it, we now at with the u. s. border patrol over 50 % of the time of the border. Patrol agents is not spent on border security, so it is absolutely a risk to national security, and i do want to get those boots back to the border so that they can do what they signed up to do. I cannot, i never took that. Okay, i'll take two more i'll. Let him answer the technical problem with housing, but that question answers itself. Theytell me: we have 1 % of the central american population coming to our border. We were never set up to take every minor child in central america. We were never set up to deal with families coming as a unit that we can can't process we're being overwhelmed.

So when 50 % of your time is dealing with taking care of the population providing in the best comfort the system will allow, then, if i'm a terrorist, there's no better time to try to penetrate our border than right now, so we don't have enough facilities and Here'S the point: you can't build enough to take care of this problem. I mean you literally, are going to have multiple millions ofpeople coming from central america in the next two or three years, unless you shut off the faucet. So the simple answer to your question is border. Patrol stations were set up for a short-term processing of people. The system is so backed up that once they are in our custody custody, we have no option but to keep them there. [ music ] right, no yeah. I talked to him a couple of nights ago. Well, he says you know we got to stop it. How do you stop it lindsey i said: will you go talk to the people and just think about it? Why there's a 64 % increase of people with small children? They know that if you bringthe small child, your chance of being deported goes down to almost zero. They know. If you ask for asylum, we don't have enough bed space to hold you for your hearing. For three years, then let you loose in the country so they come to ask for asylum.

I said until you change these magnets. These laws, no walls gon na stop the flow. I think you got that and the aid makes sense only if you turn off the faucet now here's what i did tell it that we're not going to pass my bill as written you're gon na have to get democrats in the room, and this is the time For the tuesday trump to show up thisis the guy that got us all in a room saying i'm gon na work with you to solve this problem in a humane fashion and make sure we don't repeat it for the next president. So what i would urge the president do is when i introduce this legislation, when we have a hearing to actually try to work with democrats to fix this problem and see what it takes. Thank you very much.

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