GOP Task Force to Offer Border Plan

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 07:26 AM

By Elliot Jager

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House Republicans will present legislation to boost the National Guard troop presence at the border and to expedite deportation hearings in response to the illegal migrant crisis, The Washington Times reported.

A seven-member task force led by Texas Rep. Kay Granger and authorized by Speaker John Boehner has developed a series of measures that would be incorporated in a House Appropriations Committee bill as a Republican alternative to the administration's request for $3.7 billion.

"The working group believes there are steps that can be taken to stop individuals, mostly women and children, from making the horrific trip from Central America to our southern border," Granger said in a statement. "Additionally, we must ensure that our border is secure and that unaccompanied minors are repatriated back to their home country in a swift and humane way."

The Republican task force proposal include: strengthening the National Guard presence at the border and enhancing border security; bringing in more judges; and keeping migrants closer to the border in newly set up facilities.

The deportation process would be streamlined to about one week. And U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents would be authorized to operate freely on federal land regardless of environmental restrictions, the Times reported.

Republicans will further push to amend the 2008 William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act that makes it cumbersome to deport illegals who arrive at the border from countries such as Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

Democrats are expected to offer strong opposition, particularly to amending the 2008 law, the Times reported.

In the Democratic-controlled Senate, Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski of Maryland is drafting a bill that would cut the administration's request by $1 billion. House and Senate lawmakers would have to reconcile any differences in the legislation before the Congress recesses in August.

The GOP Task Force proposals have not been formally released and some members have in the meantime issued their own ideas, Politico reported.

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