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Rep. Andy Biggs to introduce bill to close immigration loopholes



Exclusive: Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., on Tuesday is introducing an immigration reform bill aimed at closing loopholes that he says are contributing to the "crisis" at the southern border, while bolstering protections against child trafficking.

The bill would close a loophole in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, which ensures unaccompanied migrant children are quickly and safely returned home, are not victims of human trafficking, and are not found to have a credible fear of persecution in their home country. Current law only authorizes the policy for children from border countries, Mexico and Canada. Children from other countries are subject to lengthy immigration hearings and often released into the U.S., sometimes to the adults that tried to smuggle them into the country. 

The bill reinstates a requirement that immigrants apply for asylum in countries they pass through on their way to the U.S. in most cases.

For victims of severe human trafficking, the bill ensures that they receive a hearing with an immigration judge within 14 days of arrival. 

BIGGS URGES DHS TO DECLARE 'CRISIS' AT BORDER 

It also aims to fix the Flores Settlement Agreement by allowing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to keep children and parents together in custody while their cases are pending. Under the current agreement, children who enter with a parent or guardian can only be detained for 20 days, meaning the entire family unit is released upon the 20th day. 

The bill also tightens the "credible fear" standard for asylum claims and increases the penalties for false statements in asylum hearings. It dictates that only immigrants who arrive in the U.S. at a port of entry would be eligible for asylum, those who enter illegally would be ineligible. 

BORDER NUMBERS EXPECTED TO SHOW WAVE AS MIGRANT CHILDREN IN CUSTODY TRIPLES, BIDEN DHS ASKS FOR HELP

The bill is not likely to make it far in the Democrat-controlled House. 

Republicans have laid blame on the Biden administration's rollback of Trump-era immigration restrictions for a surge in migrants at the southern border, and Biggs has been at the forefront of the matter. Earlier this week, he wrote a letter to DHS urging officials to call the surge at the border a "crisis" and to reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which kept migrants in Mexico for the duration of their hearings. The program, set up under the Trump administration, has started to be rolled back by the Biden administration -- which recently began to process migrants at the border.

Source:-https://www.foxnews.com/politics/rep-andy-biggs-bill-close-immigration-loopholes

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