As thousands of illegal immigrants continue to flood across the southern border of the United States,
both Texas Senators are proposing versions of legislation designed to address the processing of unaccompanied children and the President’s request for $3.7 billion in emergency funding.
Senator Cornyn, working with Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), has proposed a bipartisan, bicameral bill entitled, “Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency Act” or the “HUMANE Act.” The bill calls for expedited due process and screening for unaccompanied alien children, and requires children to file a legal claim with an immigration court within one week. A judge would have 72 hours to determine whether the child has a legitimate claim for asylum; if not, the child would be sent back to his home country. Cornyn’s bill would amend a 2008 provision in the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act that gives special legal protections to minors from Central America.
Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz filed his own bill, “To prevent the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program unlawfully created by Executive memorandum on August 15, 2012.” The Cruz legislation is aimed at stopping President Obama’s DACA program and the perception that the United States will not deport minors. The bill also prohibits employment for illegal aliens who are not in compliance with the Immigration and Nationality Act and blocks federal agencies from using taxpayer resources to consider new applicants using DACA.
“We all recognize the terrible humanitarian crisis that is occurring at the border, and all of us should come together to end the policies that have caused it,” Cruz said.