Sen. Cruz Introduces Senate Companion to House-Passed Secure the Border Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today introduced the Secure the Border Act of 2023 in the Senate. This bill passed the House of Representatives as H.R. 2, and it is the most comprehensive border security legislation in decades. The Secure the Border Act will resume construction on the wall, tighten asylum standards, criminalize visa overstays, increase the number of Border Patrol Agents, defund NGOs receiving tax dollars to help traffic illegal aliens throughout the heartland, prohibit DHS from using its app to assist illegal aliens, and more.
About the bill, Sen. Cruz said, “Under Joe Biden, we have a wide-open southern border. The Biden Border Crisis has created the largest illegal immigration crisis in our nation’s history. Biden’s open borders are an invitation for the cartels to brutalize children, to assault women, to overrun our communities with illegal aliens, and to flood this country with narcotics and fentanyl that kill over 100,000 people per year. This bill would stop the Biden Border Crisis dead in its tracks by building the wall, ratcheting up asylum standards, increasing the number of Border Patrol Agents, and implementing effective border security policies.”
Leader Mitch McConnell (R- Ky.), Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Senator JD Vance (R-Ohio), Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Senator Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Senator John Kennedy (R-La.), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), Senator Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Senator Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), and Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) co-sponsored Senator Cruz’s Secure the Border Act. Numbers USA and FAIR endorsed Senator Cruz’s Secure the Border Act.
Sen. Cotton stated, “The Biden Border Crisis has invited cartels and terrorists to bring drugs and crime into America’s communities. Worse, his administration has no plan to do anything about the crisis. This bill will require the continued construction of a border wall and give the Border Patrol officers the resources they need to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country.”
Sen. Fischer said, “I’ve been to the southern border and seen the chaos there. It is nothing short of a humanitarian and national security crisis. Our legislation will force this administration to finally take steps to secure the border — like resuming construction of the border wall, ending catch-and-release, and reinstating President Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy. If President Biden won’t act to fix the crisis he has created, Congress must.”
Sen. Marshall stated, “President Biden's dereliction of duty and failure to secure our southern border has put every American in danger. Since day one, Joe Biden has allowed the cartels to have operational control of our nation's border, exploiting every weakness and pushing illicit fentanyl into our communities - killing over 300 Americans a day. This is an invasion, and the president has no plan to address it. Without secure borders, we cannot ensure our country's safety. I am proud to support this legislation that would restore law and order by adding additional Border Patrol agents, end catch and release, provide better technology at entry sites to detect drugs and stop the flow of illegal immigration.”
Sen. Budd said, “President Biden has created the worst border crisis in American history. Instead of taking steps to solve this crisis, the Biden administration has doubled down on his dangerous open-border policies. Senator Cruz’s Secure Our Border Act provides a comprehensive set of solutions to protect our country and enforce the law.”
NumbersUSA CEO James Massa stated, “NumbersUSA strongly supports the efforts of Senator Cruz to end the border surge through the introduction of the Senate companion to HR 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023, which passed the House of Representatives on May 11. If enacted, this bill would bring an end to the border crisis that has overwhelmed the Border Patrol—and American communities from Eagle Pass to New York to Los Angeles —for more than two and a half years. The Biden Administration has not only refused to use the enforcement authority and barrier expansion given to it by Congress to gain operational control of the border, but has added to the crisis by processing into the interior of the United States millions of aliens without legitimate claims to enter or stay. The Secure the Border Act of 2023 would rein in the breathtaking and illegal abuse of parole that this administration has been using to unlawfully create its own immigration system outside of the confines of the Immigration and Nationality Act. It would block the administration from continuing its policies of catch-and-release, thus deterring future waves of illegal migrants. It would put a stop to the encouragement of family units and unaccompanied alien children surging our borders, protecting them from victimization by the cartels and traffickers, as well as exploitation in illegally obtained jobs without protection of official status. It would put teeth into efforts to deter visa overstays, and it would plug the loopholes in our asylum system to restore its integrity and protect it for legitimate asylum seekers. Most importantly, it would shut off the “jobs magnet” for illegal immigration while protecting jobs for American workers by making nationwide and mandatory the already proven-effective use of E-Verify. NumbersUSA encourages every Senator to stand with Senator Cruz and support these sensible reforms.”
Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) President Dan Stein said, “Since his first day in office, President Biden has signaled to illegal aliens and open-border advocates that his administration will not enforce our immigration laws and that our southern border will be open. The Secure the Border Act will immediately restart construction of the border wall, provide border enforcement agencies the manpower, technology and infrastructure they need to do their jobs, and end the exploitation of unaccompanied alien children at the hands of criminal cartels. Unlike the Biden Administration’s preferred approach of abusing current law and quickly processing illegal aliens into the country, the Secure the Border Act will enact meaningful policy changes that are needed. It is a critical piece of legislation that will secure our borders and end the humanitarian crisis that this administration has willfully created.”
The Secure the Border Act enacts effective border security solutions, including:
1. Requiring the Department of Homeland Security to resume border wall construction.
2. Increasing the number of Border Patrol Agents.
3. Tightening asylum standards by restricting asylum to only aliens who present at ports of entry and by requiring aliens to prove they are “more likely than not” to qualify for their asylum claim.
4. Narrowing DHS’s power to unilaterally grant parole to illegal aliens.
5. Criminalizing visa overstays by making the first offense a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and the second offense a felony punishable by up to a $2,000 fine and up to two years imprisonment.
6. Stopping NGOs from using tax dollars to transport or lodge illegal aliens and provide illegal aliens with lawyers.
7. Restricting DHS from using its CBP One app to welcome illegal aliens into the country.
8. Requiring employers to use E-Verify.
9. Ensuring CBP has access to the criminal history databases of all countries of origin and transit so that CBP is aware of the criminal history of illegal aliens encountered at the southern border.
The full text of the Secure the Border Act is available here.