Border Crisis Fuels Surge of Legislation

The crisis of thousands of illegal migrants attempting to enter the United States – many of them unaccompanied minors – drags on into its third month. According to a recent Gallup Poll, immigration is now cited by Americans as the nation’s most important issue.

Some in Washington want to do something to end the flood of illegal immigrants pouring across the border. Others want to appear to be doing something to stem the flow. President Obama falls into the latter category. His request for $3.7 billion to address the crisis (that his own policies helped create) is more about managing the problem than solving it. House leaders have already vowed that they are not about to hand the president a blank check while he continues to undermine immigration enforcement.  As such, several Republican bills under consideration that would serve as an alternative to the president’s supplemental spending request include:

1. The HUMANE Act: The Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency, sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), would end the disparity in treatment between minors from contiguous countries (Canada and Mexico) and non-contiguous ones. The bill would require that all minors get a hearing before a judge within one week and a judicial decision within 72 hours of the hearing. Those found not to have a valid claim of admission would be returned.

However, the HUMANE Act includes a huge flaw. Under the bill, any minor who arrived between January 1, 2013 and the date of enactment would be able to file a motion to get either his notice to appear or final order of removal expunged.  The bill then allows the illegal alien minors to immediately apply for admission to the U.S. – without going home and without any penalties. In other words, the bill would exacerbate the backlog of cases and create further delays in carrying out removals.

Read FAIR’s Bill Summary of the HUMANE Act.

2. The CREST Act: The Children Returning on an Expedited and Safe Timeline is sponsored by Arizona Republicans, John McCain and Jeff Flake. While the bill would treat minors from all countries equally, it would also make up to 5,000 additional refugee applications available for each of the three primary sending countries – Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

3. The House Leadership Recommendations: Released yesterday, the working group established by Boehner, released “recommendations” rather than legislation. Not only do they ignore the problem of Obama’s Deferred Action for Child Arrivals amnesty program, but they also incorporate parts of the Cornyn-Cuellar HUMANE Act and include the Republican border security bill that fails to secure the border.

The bill, H.R. 1417, sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee mirrors the border security provisions of the Senate amnesty bill, S.744. The bill establishes no useful metrics for measuring border security and no consequences for failing to secure the border. Worse yet, the legislation could be used as the basis for a House-Senate conference on the amnesty provisions of S.744.

4. The Protection of Children Act: This bill, sponsored by Representatives John Carter (R-Texas), Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) and Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), is the most  promising of the bills intended to end the border crisis. The legislation would treat all minors equally, no matter where they come from and would increase the amount of time they could remain in custody. It would also discourage illegal alien parents from claiming their children by requiring that the immigration status of the parents or guardians be investigated. This legislation is supported by FAIR.

5. Senator Cruz Introduces Bill to Repeal DACA: Republican Senator Ted Cruz has introduced legislation that would stop the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). Yesterday, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced companion legislation in the House.

DACA is the Obama administration’s program, created through a policy memo, that grants deferred action to illegal aliens who claim they arrived in the U.S. as minors. His straightforward, two-page bill provides that no “agency or instrumentality” of the federal government may use government money or resources to:

(1)  Consider, adjudicate any new or previously denied DACA application; or

(2)  Authorize any alien to work in the U.S. if such alien was not lawfully admitted into the U.S. under federal law and is not “in lawful status” in the United States on the day of enactment.

In a statement upon introducing his bill, Senator Cruz made it clear that President Obama’s immigration policies, including DACA, were the cause of our current border crisis.  “Since his unilateral action in 2012 to implement DACA,” Cruz said, “the numbers of children arriving in the U.S. illegally – transported by dangerous criminals and drug cartels eager to exploit President Obama’s amnesty – predictably exploded…”

He also offered the following facts:

  • In 2011, approximately 6,000 unaccompanied minors came to the United States.
  • In 2012, when President Obama issued DACA, the number of unaccompanied minors arriving in the United States rose to 14,000.
  • In 2013, the number of unaccompanied minors arriving in the United States rose to 34,000.
  • In 2014, Customs and Border Protection estimated 90,000 unaccompanied minors may be apprehended.
  • In 2014, the Obama Administration has stated it expects 145,000 unaccompanied minors to enter the United States.

It is unclear at this point whether any of these bills can win approval in both the House and Senate. The same partisan difference and special interest demands could potentially stand in the way of ending an illegal immigration crisis that poses myriad security, health and fiscal risks to the American people.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. Pingback: Obama’s Plan for ‘Refugees’ Opens Door to New Immigration Crisis

  2. avatar
    Barbara Griffith on

    All anyone has to do is look at Europe to see what the US will look like down the road. The countries that are members of the EU are forced to actually not have borders. They have to let anyone that wants a job in their country to work whatever jobs that are available. I believe the populations in these countries are getting tired of it because they are voting into office representatives that are going to close their borders to stop the loss of their jobs. Joblessness is very high in most of these countries and it is blamed on the ability to just walk in get hired at a lower wage which is what is happening here in the US. Legal immigration in the US needs to be stopped for at least 10 years to get a handle on just who should be let in. We need to go back to only allowing in the well educated that can actually be a benefit to the country not what is being allowed to enter the country legally or illegally. As far as starting businesses most of them run small stores and only hire either their own or relatives. I have yet to see a store run by East Indians with a white guy behind the counter that includes all of the Mexican restaurants in the country.

    • avatar
      John Winthrop on

      you are so clueless…hahaha!! really!!? do you know what the EU stands for and means r u sure 1+1 is -20?….. and what do you think is different between NY and CA………..same thing………..

      • avatar

        Actually she knows far more than you when it comes to the European Union. This spring, parties in countries like Britain, France, and Denmark that are opposed to open borders came in first in elections. Naturally this had the NY Times using the term “far right” to describe these parties. But then Mexican billionaire owns a substantial stake in the Times, so they have to portray opposition to open immigration as extremism.

        • avatar
          John Winthrop on

          Leland again you show nothing to back your claim……….You and the lady are peeing off the bowl…….any country’s citizens within the EU has the right to work within it?….do you follow the news…do you know why the EU was formed and why?……..the USA has the same parallelism as the EU but states instead of countries ignorance is a bliss……….n

          Now I get to learn better regarding your background, from the way you answer,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,without any offense now I can say you have no voice on these matters and the least on Immigration,,,,… just repeat what you do not know……………basically a waste of time.

          • avatar

            Me? That’s pretty funny considering that you compared the countries within the European Union to New York and California. You call it “the same parallelism as the EU but states instead of countries”. But states cannot leave the union. We had a war over that. Did you forget? The countries of Europe can vote themselves out of the EU.

            As far as your question: “Any country’s citizens within the EU has the right to work within it?”, the answer is yes. Would you like the official proclamation from “The freedom to move to another country to work without a work permit is a right for EU nationals.”

            Maybe if you were a little busier checking facts instead of trying to call out other people’s “ignorance”, you might actually know something.

          • avatar
            John WInthrop on

            Leland it is a pleasure to call your ignorance…………:”

            You stated Barbara is right on the following:

            “All anyone has to do is look at Europe to see what the US will look like down the road. The countries that are members of the EU are forced to actually not have borders. They have to let anyone that wants a job in their country to work whatever jobs that are available”

            What is going on is what is intended as EU…the right to work across the EU…yes there is a border the new border is called the EU. So I educated you and corrected you and Barbara…… all of the sudden you agree………………………Leland you have a conflict of personality….you are like McCain….flip flop/.///flip//////flop…………………..

          • avatar

            Barbara was right. You just quoted her. She originally said anyone who wants to cross into another country and work there can do so and many Europeans are tired of that. . I quoted you questioning her on that policy. You called her clueless. I quoted the official EU policy. She was right, so was I. You were wrong.

  3. avatar

    u can thank u r idiot leader for all this bull s**t !!! impeachment needs to be the next step !!! along with the entire democratic bunch of idiots in DC !!!

  4. avatar

    Obama is tuned out of our border crisis just like every other critical issue facing our country. We have the laws, we have the manpower to enforce them if it is used as intended. No more money should go to Obama and his administration until our borders are secured and verified and not by the Obama cronies or DOJ. This mess started during the last Bush administration then Obama came along and with his socialist agenda and desire to see our borders disappear has created a crisis of huge proportions

  5. avatar

    As much as I hate to say it, I believe that we are nearing the time for the people to stand up against a corrupt government. This is what the drafters of the constitution foresaw and why they drafted constitutional relief under such circumstances. We have stood idly by while the people of the US have been treated like ****, while giving aid and comfort to non Americans. Keep your eyes open for the next chapter. That’s when people who the government deems as instigators will be rounded up and locked up or worse, so their voices cannot be heard. But it really doesn’t matter because, nothing they do can silence the many voices that see and know the truth. I can say that as long as the cause is a just one, the people shall prevail. You see, we are not ISIS or Al Qaeda, or Hamas, or Hezbollah, or Boko Haram. We are US citizens who do not want power over others. We only want what our constitution grants us. And if our politicians take away our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness we are left with nothing. And if I can have nothing……….neither will you.


  6. avatar
    Concerned Citizen on

    Impoverished and uneducated people fleeing over a border into a fractured country with a corrupt government that picks and chooses laws and issues personal decrees…this reminds me of a failed third world state.

    Why not relocate ALL of Honduras into the United States and bring the disease and violence right here? We certainly don’t have the law enforcement apparatus to police the chaos, but who cares? Law enforcement will be replaced by one balkanized group fighting another, house to house. We can also bring in El Salvador, many countries in Africa, Ukraine, Nicaragua…let’s bring EVERYONE who has a problem into the United States and let them all fight over scarce resources! We can just step aside and watch the fun. It will be awesome to watch, like a Hollywood doomsday movie in our own back yard! Nothing is real anymore anyway, because life is all on Facebook now, so maybe the Federal government can start posting nice pictures online for us to look at while Rome burns. Give up, America! Let the far left and globalists take everything from an African-American community that already deals with devastating unemployment and let’s give, give, give to the world until we have nothing left. Let African-Americans shrink to a tiny, disenfranchised minority in this New America! Let’s all give up and let the powers that be win, then beg them for mercy.

    Of course, I’m speaking in jest, but I’m not laughing.

    • avatar

      Hi Concerned Citizen

      Great metaphor blog!

      I used to think the Millenials wasting time playing apocolypse video games [while much of them are unemployed] was odd….not anymore…..I’m on their side now. There’s some things we can’t “fix” and perhaps the youth have found a great way to ease the depression. Denial.

      Or they agree with you, this is where its all leading anyway on our current GRIM path.

      IMO, without science leading the guiding light in America, as today, we’ve become deluded like the Medieval Flat-Earthers were, believing in mythology and bogus lies instead of sound population control demography science, we once embraced in the 60s and the 70s.

    • avatar

      I will never understand why blacks have let this so called reform be turned into a civil rights issue. Most blacks can trace their families back centuries in this country. Yet people who slipped over the border five years ago or overstayed a visa are somehow to be catered to. It’s not rocket science. Blacks in general have less education. Which means they have lower paying jobs and also have very high rates of unemployment.

      And all those things are made worse by a never ending flood of foreign workers. There are plenty of workers, of all races, business just doesn’t want to pay them a decent wage and benefits. So business goes to the federal govt. and wring their hankies in despair. Woe is us, they declare, we just can’t find people to work for a wage so low they can’t live on it.

      • avatar
        John Winthrop on

        Leland are you brainless or you just happen to be like that?…….of course it is a Civil Rights’ issue…..go to the dictionary and for the first time in your life look up the meaning our history in the Civil Rights and then educate yourself about the abuse to the illegals and perhaps if you can stretch your mind….you might understand…..but watch you will come back and say this is all nonsense and blabbering which in actuality it is your first and last name.

        • avatar

          Really? What “civil rights” does a person have who came here on a visa to visit three years ago and didn’t leave by the date specified?

          • avatar
            arnlof sweigeir ft on

            The one obviously u do not have by the manner u answered!!!!.. U r really clueless!!!!

      • avatar
        John WInthrop on

        Leland to educate you a bit further………blacks are a subset of the Civil Rights……………………………..SO if there is a violation of it it does not matter what color you are but simply having your civil rights abused……………….

  7. avatar

    The only solution to thids Immigration problem is:

    1. Is to Fire John Boehner (Speaker of the House) with his bastardly attitude that he does not believe in Impeachment. He is suppose to do tthe will of the people, NOT his personal beliefs>
    2. I Believe Obama is setting the U.S.A. up for a Third Term etc., etc. in office. He would most lokely try tgo do it via Executive Order or worst yet Martial Law!
    3. This is why it is do important to FIRE John Boehner!!
    4. If Obama pulls this S–T it is time for CIVIL WAR II

  8. avatar

    The FED already have immigration laws to enforce. Amnesty–NO… DEPORT ALL ILLEGALS–YES.. SECURE THE BORDER–YES.. Give Obama MORE money on our credit card–NO. Obama created this mess with an ILLEGAL executive order. This SHOULD anger CONGRESS–Our Representatives. DEFUND ANY and ALL monies created with the DACA order. This could go on and on. But nothing is going to be done. Just like Congress and the President picking and choosing their battles. And creating their continuing crisis to detract from the previous. Just keep a media going and have them forget about the previous.

  9. avatar

    Call Me Cold Hearted

    But if we don’t implement “tough love” actions, like immediate deportation [safe to their motherlands] of all IAs, irrespective of age; its like the alchoholic that gets overlooked to be humane….they never stop drinking.

  10. avatar

    Why would we want to make an additional 5000 refugee visas each available for Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Total 15,000. Here we go again. Another “refugee” program that will be extended forever and paid for with your tax dollars. Your elected officials hard at work in Washington, representing everyone but you and rewarding illegal entry.

    • avatar

      Yupj. It’s called extortion. Dump your kids on somebody elses doorstep than ask for money to take them back.