A pending House bill that will take away loopholes in a law that allows immigrants to remain in the county automatically if they are seeking asylum is needed to keep acts of terrorism such as the Boston Marathon bombing from occurring again, Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, said Wednesday.
"It would take away what are commonly called loopholes, but in fact, they are provisions within the law that allows people to ask for entry into the country based on asylum and other methods," Sessions told Fox News' "Fox & Friends."
President Donald Trump "has taken a great and strong stand" to keep terrorists from coming into the country to commit acts of terror, Sessions continued, but still, all loopholes must be closed.
"[We need to] give Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly the tools he needs and to make sure that we protect this border by those who would come to this country under, I think, false pretenses."
Under current law, show co-host Brian Kilmeade explained, the government can terminate refugee or asylum status for immigrants and return them to their own countries, but immigrants who apply for protection status because of fear of persecution in their home countries are permitted to stay, or can return to the United States after leaving.
"The bottom line is the law allows people who come here to be able to make these claims and to have automatic entry and receive a lawyer, have a hearing and go through a process, and perhaps that's important," Sessions said.
"What we want to do is take away the reasons why people are automatically allowed these provisions. You understand also they are provided a lawyer and I'm sure they're coached along the way. These are not just loopholes, they are actual circumstances when you look at the Boston bombers."
In that case, brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev went overseas, got training, and returned, Kilmeade said. The FBI spoke with them and allowed them to stay, and eventually they committed the bombing attack.
There are other bills pending in the House, Sessions said, that will help fight the problems of illegal immigration, including legislation in the House Rules Committee on Tuesday to allow the addition of 2,000 new officers for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol.
"We do not have enough officers at the border," Sessions said.
"We do not have enough people who are prepared to intercept these people that come . . . we have to build back our frontline forces. President [Donald] Trump is on not only in line to do this, but making sure Congress is going to fund these people. We are getting our job done."
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