Washington D.C. – Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) today voted in favor of H.R. 6136 – Border Security and Immigration Reform Act. The immigration reform solution failed during consideration by the House of Representatives. This bill was the result of a compromise negotiated among Republican members of the House over the past month to finally fix America’s broken immigration system.
“Our immigration system is broken, and today the House failed to take meaningful steps to fix it by rejecting the compromise bill that President Trump would have signed into law. This bill will ensure parents and children stay together, strengthen border security, and provide legal status for approximately 1.8 million young adults brought to the US as children under age 16 prior to 2007. This bill was a genuine solution to resolve immigration issues which have lingered for many decades. I’m extremely disappointed with this outcome, but proud of the fact that the legislation was supported by a majority of House Republicans and the leadership of the House, including Speaker Paul Ryan. The inability to get to ‘yes’ on our nation’s biggest issues is emblematic of Washington’s ineffectiveness and preference to kick the can down the road. However, I will not stop pushing for a comprehensive fix to this eminently solvable issue. It is my hope that we can now engage Democrats on an alternative bill to make this a truly bi-partisan effort.”
A summary of the bill is included below.
Provides $25 billion in funding to strengthen border security, including funding for border technology, border barrier in areas where it is required, and border access roads, among other things.
Funding is also provided for completing the biometric entry-exit program to better track whether those on temporary visas leave the United States upon expiration.
Directs Customs and Border Protection to hire a sufficient number of personnel to maintain certain staffing levels of both Border Patrol agents and Customs Officers.
Authorizes the use of the National Guard at the southern border.
Keeping Families Together
The legislation addresses the 1997 Flores settlement, a US District Court case from California, to ensure that children who are apprehended at the border are not separated from their parents while in DHS custody.
The bill prohibits releasing the child to the custody of anyone that is not a parent or legal guardian.
DACA Status Resolved
Offers legal status for a six-year period to participants in the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals or DACA program and to those who were eligible for DACA, but did not sign up for the program at the time.
After the six-year period, DACA participants are then offered the opportunity to apply for a green card and ultimately apply for citizenship status through the existing process for those legally entering the country.
DACA recipients would not take precedence over those already engaged in the process through legal means.
DACA applicants must have clean records, but are not disqualified for certain minor convictions such as a traffic violation.
Modernizes the Immigration System
Eliminates the diversity visa program and reallocates 50,000 visas to a merit-based program.
Address chain migration by eliminating certain family sponsorship categories and reassigns these visas to the merit-based green card program and the employment-based visa program.