Border Security Bill Passes Committee
On April 19, the House Committee on the Judiciary marked up the Border Security and Enforcement Act of 2023 (H.R. 2640).” Representatives Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) released the immigration bill on April 17 that would provide border protection, reform the asylum system, crack down on the employment of undocumented workers, and expand migrant family detention. The bill is the House Republican response to high levels of migration on the U.S.-Mexico border. House Republicans have made border security a focal point of their new majority and addressing it is seen as a stepping stone to immigration reforms to help address the aging services workforce shortage.
The bill would also limit the Biden Administration’s use of an authority known as parole, which allows the federal government to give migrants temporary permission to live and work in the U.S. The bill states that parole should not be granted “according to eligibility criteria describing an entire class of potential parole recipients.” Parole has provided the legal authority for programs like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, as well as programs to help Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion. The bill also takes aim at employers that hire undocumented immigrants, including ramping up requirements for them to electronically verify that their employees have permission to work in the U.S.
Additionally, the bill would revive several programs to significantly limit asylum eligibility for migrants traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border. It would restrict eligibility from migrants who have traveled through another country enroute to the U.S. and had not first attempted to seek protection in the other country, among other provisions.
The Committee approved the bill by a vote of 23 to 15.