(RepublicanReport.com) – The situation on the US/Mexico border has been occupying headlines for weeks. However, the “migrant surge,” as it’s been dubbed, is not a new phenomenon. Former Presidents Trump and Obama both had to deal with a spike in the number of migrants attempting to access the US illegally. This time, though, President Joe Biden’s administration has dragged its heels on the issue for political reasons, potentially allowing the crisis to deepen.
A Possible Solution
On Thursday, April 1, a bipartisan bill was introduced to the House of Representatives that aims to redefine the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approach to migrant surges like the one currently underway.
Specifically, the legislation would provide for a $1 billion fund for DHS to draw from to pay for temporary migrant facilities, food and equipment, and migrant transportation, among other things. The DHS must currently direct funds from its own budget to meet these costs.
The bill would also require the Department to specify the metrics upon which to trigger its response plan. This plan would more clearly define the general approach to the issue of migrant surges.
A Rare Bipartisan Effort
The fact this bill is a bipartisan production is notable in itself because Democrats and Republicans rarely seem to agree on the topic of immigration. Bipartisan cooperation might be an indication of the seriousness of the crisis.
Reps. John Katko (R-NY) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) spearheaded the initiative. In a joint statement, the pair referred to the “ongoing crisis at the southwest border” and outlined the reasons behind the bill.
The statement mentions the emergency funding made available to federal agencies in the wake of a natural disaster. It looks for a similar allowance to be made regarding migrant surges, allowing for an “agile Federal response” when “a humanitarian crisis develops at the border.”
The border crisis is a recurring problem, and this won’t be the last time it rears its head. This legislation could see the Department of Homeland Security much better equipped to deal with migrant surges in the future. However, the questions of why there are surges and how to control them remain at issue.
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