Congressman Rod Blum (R-Iowa) on Friday announced that he is co-sponsoring the Keep Families Together and Enforce The Law Act.
The bill, Blum’s office says, will reunite children who have been separated from their parents when caught illegally entering the United States. They said that the bill would also provide for more beds and increase the number of judges to hold hearings for amnesty claims and oversee hearings related to prosecution for illegal entry.
The Senate version of the bill, sponsored by U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) and co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), would do the following:
- Requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to keep immigrant families together at residential centers pending the outcome of their immigration proceedings.
- Sets mandatory standards of care for family residential centers.
- Authorizes over 200 new immigration judges and requires the DHS Secretary and Attorney General to expedite the court proceedings of children and families.
- Keeps children safe by requiring a child be removed from the care of an individual in the following cases:
- The individual presents a clear danger to the health and safety of the child;
- DHS cannot verify that the individual is actually the parent of the child;
- The parent of the child has a violent history of committing aggravated felonies;
- The child has been a victim of sexual or domestic abuse; or
- The child has been a victim of trafficking.
“As the mainstream media continues to make this a hyper-partisan issue focused around separating children from their parents, they are failing to acknowledge the fact that 10,000 out of 12,000 of these children under care of HHS were sent to this country without any of their family members– resulting in a 325% increase in unaccompanied alien children (UAC) crossing the border over just one year. That means more and more illegal aliens are using this process as a loophole to enter the country illegally- taking up more and more resources like judges and holding centers to deal with the influx of illegal aliens,” Blum said in a released statement.
“While I wholly sympathize with the experiences of these UAC as a side effect of their parents’ decision to break the law, these perverse incentives must be discontinued and I hope that our Democrat colleagues will work with us to fix these laws dating back over 20 years. In the meantime, I signed onto the Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act to ensure the small percentage of unaccompanied illegal children who do have families in custody are held together, and to provide funding for a 1,000 increase in beds and 225 additional immigration judges to deal with the backlog of cases,” he added.