FIRST ON FOX: Legislation introduced by House Republicans this week would significantly expand the use of a deportation authority to quickly remove illegal immigrants at the southern border just as a key authority to remove migrants is about to expire.
The American Safety and Fairness Through Expedited Removal (SAFER) Act, introduced by Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas, would expand the use of expedited removal, a Clinton-era authority which allows DHS to quickly remove illegal immigrants without a hearing if they have not been in the U.S. for more than two years.
Currently, the use of the process is limited to illegal immigrants who are apprehended within 100 miles of the border or who have entered the U.S. within two weeks. Fallon’s legislation would rescind that requirement and would bar DHS from making additional limitations on the use of the authority.
It would also require all illegal immigrants who did not obtain valid entry documents and have been in the U.S. less than two years, to be removed via the authority.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, Fallon cited the impending end of Title 42. That authority, implemented since March 2020 to expel a majority of migrants at the southern border, will expire on Dec. 21 due to a court order. The Biden administration has said it has a six-point plan in place to deal with a potential surge in migrants, but both Democrats and Republicans have expressed fears of an impending surge on top of the more than 2.3 million seen at the border in FY 2022.
The SAFER Act by Fox News on Scribd
‘As CBP braces for a monumental migration event due to the impending expiration of Title 42, we as members of Congress must act to counter Biden’s Border Crisis,’ Fallon said. ‘That is why my colleagues and I are introducing the American SAFER Act.’
‘No more will illegal aliens receive a get out of jail free card from the expedited removal process because they’ve traveled 100 air miles into the interior of the United States. It’s time to restore this important tool for border patrol and immigration authorities,’ he said.
The bill has 17 co-sponsors including Reps. Michael Cloud, R-Texas, Mark Green, R-Tenn., Brian Mast, R-Fla., Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, Ralph Norman, R-S.C., Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., and Lisa McClain, R-Mich. It also has the backing of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
‘President Biden’s failed policies are crushing our southern border,’ Green said in a statement. ‘This legislation is a huge step forward in ensuring those who illegally enter our country cannot circumvent the law and are swiftly removed.’
The Biden administration’s plan to deal with a post-Title 42 surge includes an increase of resources to the border, as well as a greater use of authorities like expedited removal — although it is not clear if it will go as far as the SAFER Act. The Biden administration had previously rescinded a Trump-era rule ending the 100 mile/14 day limit. The administration has also said it intends to use criminal penalties against illegal border crossers.
The Biden administration recently appealed the court’s ruling that Title 42 was unlawful, but a decision on that appeal will not come before Dec. 21.
Meanwhile, Republicans will take control of the House of Representatives at the beginning of January and have made it clear they intend to make securing the border a top priority. Republicans have unveiled a number of frameworks on how they intend to work to secure the border, while also holding the administration accountable for what they see as its failure to do so.
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has promised to hold hearings at the border and has also floated a potential impeachment inquiry for DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.