[Congressional Record Volume 169, Number 80 (Thursday, May 11, 2023)]
[Pages H2258-H2281]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                              {time}  1115
                     SECURE THE BORDER ACT OF 2023

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Ellzey). Pursuant to clause 1(c) of rule 
XIX, further consideration of the bill (H.R. 2) to secure the borders 
of the United States, and for other purposes, will now resume.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from California (Mr. 
McClintock) and the gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler) each will 
control 60 minutes.
  The chair recognizes the gentleman from California (Mr. McClintock).
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  Mr. Speaker, on Inauguration Day, our border was secure. The Trump 
policies had slowed illegal immigration to a trickle. That afternoon, 
Joe Biden reversed these policies, and in the last 27 months the 
Democrats have deliberately admitted into our country more than 2.1 
million illegal aliens.
  Now that is larger than the entire population of the State of 
Nebraska, and while the Border Patrol was overwhelmed, more than 1\1/2\ 
million known got-aways entered as well. That is an additional 
population larger than that of Hawaii. All of this occurred in 27 
  As we can see at this very moment, this was only a prelude to the 
mass invasion now unfolding before our eyes. The Border Patrol Union 
warned us yesterday: ``Field reports from agents across the southern 
border verify the enormity of this tidal wave of illegal aliens coming 
now. Huge groups are overwhelming stations, and it is completely out of 
control. Massive releases beginning and it's going to get much worse.''
  Now for Americans, this means classrooms packed with non-English 
speaking students, hospitals flooded with illegals demanding 
uncompensated care, violent criminal cartels and gangs introduced into 
our communities, fentanyl killing an average of 300 Americans every 
day, suppressed wages for working Americans, and the collapse of the 
social safety net that was supposed to take care of Americans in need.
  For the millions of illegal migrants, it means exposure to hazardous 
conditions that have claimed 2,000 lives that we know of. Many arrive 
sick, traumatized, starved, brutalized, raped, and deeply in debt to 
the cartels.
  These are not asylum seekers. Asylum is a specific refuge for those 
singled out by their government for persecution because of race, 
religion, or political beliefs. Asylum is achieved by crossing the 
first international border that separates you from that government. 
Asylum is not an open invitation to bum-rush our borders, but the 
Democrats have made it precisely that.
  If you make a fraudulent asylum claim, you are now guaranteed to 
receive immediate admission into our country, you get cash, a range of 
free goods and services, indefinite residency, and indefinite work 
authorizations. Then, when your claim is ultimately rejected by a 
clogged court system years in the future, you will not be deported, and 
you only need to wait for the next amnesty.
  This makes a mockery of legitimate asylum, the sovereignty of our 
Nation, and the rule of law. Our bill removes the incentives to break 
our laws by reinforcing the existing requirement that forbids releasing 
asylum claimants into the country until their claim is resolved.
  This bill also returns unaccompanied minors safely home as we already 
do with children from Mexico or Canada, but this administration sends 
all other children to poorly vetted so-called sponsors in this country 
with little concern or follow-up over the conditions into which we have 
abandoned them. Many become indentured servants, slaves to the cartels 
and their gangs, forced into sex trafficking, labor trafficking, and 
drug trafficking under horrific conditions.
  The only way to stop this trafficking is to return these children 
safely home. The cartels are paid thousands of dollars to bring them to 
the United States, and that will stop the moment we return these 
children to their homes. Every Border Patrol agent I have talked to 
tells me that this is the only way to stop this heartbreaking tragedy.
  For those crossing as families, this measure keeps them together. It 
allows them to make their asylum claim and then to wait in Mexico or in 
a family residential center until their claim is heard.
  This measure removes the incentives for cartels to traffic children 
to pose as families in order to be automatically released into our 
country as the Democrats are doing.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Biggs, Mr. Roy, Mr. Calvert, Mr. Carter of 
Texas, Mr. Johnson of Louisiana, Mr. Tiffany, and Mr. Moran for their 
work that comprises the judiciary section of this bill and my thanks to 
the many Members who helped craft it into its current form.
  Yes, we are a nation of immigrants. We are also a nation of laws. 
Millions of immigrants come to our country legally every year. They 
obey our laws. They wait patiently. They do everything our country asks 
of them. Meanwhile, millions of illegal immigrants are cutting in line 
in front of them aided, abetted, encouraged, and rewarded by Democrat 
  It has been said that this bill has no chance in the Senate and if it 
did pass that it would be vetoed by the President. Well, that is a 
question that the American people must ultimately decide before it is 
too late.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, today, the majority has brought forward a cruel, 
extreme, and unworkable piece of legislation, which would wreck our 
economy, destroy the asylum system, criminalize visa overstays, send 
unaccompanied children back to dangerous situations, and jail children 
  Once again, my Republican colleagues show us that they are not 
interested in finding real solutions to tough issues. This bill 
attempts to combine a variety of different bills, each one more cruel 
and heartless than the last into one contradictory and overlapping 
mess. This bill has no chance of being enacted into law and it is 
nothing more than pure political theater.

  My Republican colleagues are trying to take us back to the failed, 
illegal, and immoral policies of the Trump administration. Former 
President Trump's radical, inhumane, and racist immigration actions 
weakened the U.S. economy, undermined our moral standing in the world, 
and did not make us any safer.
  While trampling on some of our most deeply held American values, his 
erratic approach also failed to stem the flow of migrants across our 
border. Let's be very clear about what this legislation would do. When 
taken together, this bill serves as a wholesale ban on asylum. No one 
would be able to seek asylum in the United States if they cross between 
ports of entry or if they had or could have had even temporary status 
in a third country.
  Let me give you an example of what this means. If the Russian 
dissident Aleksey Navalny, who Putin attempted to poison twice, was 
somehow released from his prison in Siberia and took a flight to seek 
political asylum in the United States, but the plane touched down for 
refueling in Bulgaria, he would have to stay in Bulgaria. He couldn't 
come to the United States.
  During the Judiciary Committee's markup, Democrats offered a variety 
of amendments to exempt the most vulnerable from some of these 
draconian requirements. This included those fleeing Communist and 
totalitarian regimes and unaccompanied children, but the majority was 
not even willing to exempt children under a year old.
  The one place where we were able to make some bipartisan headway was 
on the issue of E-Verify. E-Verify is an electronic employment 
eligibility verification system that began as a voluntary pilot program 
and is currently

[[Page H2259]]

used by a small percentage of the Nation's employers.
  This bill would make that system mandatory for all employers in the 
United States. Without providing other reforms, however, including any 
meaningful opportunity for undocumented workers to regularize their 
status, this title would damage the U.S. economy, harm American 
workers, and result in billions of dollars in lost government revenue.
  In particular, mandatory E-Verify would decimate the agriculture 
industry, putting U.S. farms out of business, shipping millions of 
American jobs overseas, and increasing U.S. reliance on imported food. 
Mandatory E-Verify would result in hundreds of thousands of unfilled 
farm jobs and would leave unpicked crops rotting in the fields as we 
saw in Georgia in 2011 when a mandatory E-Verify law in the State 
resulted in over 11,000 farm jobs going unfilled during the peak 
harvest season.
  Unfortunately, it appears that some of my Republican colleagues with 
significant agricultural interest in their districts are now willing to 
support this draconian legislation. Despite sincere concerns about how 
this provision would affect their constituents, they have caved to 
Republican leadership with the mere addition of a sense of Congress. 
That is pathetic.
  I have only scratched the surface of the many problems contained in 
this legislation. I have not even mentioned how this bill strips all 
protections from unaccompanied children and requires all families who 
come to our borders seeking protection to be detained indefinitely or 
the extreme lengths to which it goes to narrow the eligibility grounds 
for asylum or how this bill would severely restrict this and any future 
administration's ability to parole individuals into the United States, 
even going so far as to end the current parole initiatives for 
Ukrainians fleeing Russia and for certain military families.
  What this means is that no Ukrainians fleeing the war with Russia 
would be allowed into this country. It also means that all Ukrainians 
here after a certain time would have to return to Ukraine, even if the 
war is still going on.
  Mr. Speaker, immigration reform is a complicated problem that 
requires complicated solutions, and an enforcement-only strategy simply 
doesn't work. Democrats have put forward real proposals, and we stand 
ready to work with serious Republicans to pass meaningful solutions.
  Democrats take this humanitarian crisis seriously. Our proposals 
address the root causes of migration, improve border security, and 
create additional legal pathways for people to enter the United States 

                              {time}  1130

  But Republicans have chosen a narrow path that imposes extreme pain 
and hardship on the most vulnerable people, while doing nothing to 
actually solve the problem.
  I encourage my colleagues to oppose this wrongheaded bill, and I ask 
the majority to go back to the drawing board.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Lee).
  Ms. LEE of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2, 
the Secure the Border Act, which is the most comprehensive border bill 
to reach the House floor in modern history.
  The Biden administration's border policies have led to a national 
security and humanitarian crisis at our southern border, turning every 
community into a border community.
  This administration's failure to secure the border has led to a 
record amount of illegal drugs, both around the border and in our 
communities, and has enabled human trafficking and the exploitation of 
  Recently, law enforcement in my community announced that they have 
seized enough fentanyl to kill every Floridian.
  In addition to the drugs flowing into our communities, we have seen a 
tragic flow of unaccompanied minors across our border, which has led 
many of them to fall victim to human trafficking, abuse, and 
  A grand jury in Florida recently uncovered alarming details about 
Federal agencies losing track of more than 20,000 children, and failing 
to perform background checks on minors' sponsors, again, leading to 
incidents of trafficking, exploitation, and abuse. An open border is 
not humanitarian. When we fail to control our borders, the drug cartels 
  House Republicans know that border security is national security, and 
that is why we must pass the Secure the Border Act. This legislation 
will increase the number of Border Patrol agents, strengthen current 
law to protect unaccompanied children, and bolster our border's 
  We have a constitutional duty to secure our border and to ensure our 
communities back home are kept safe. I urge my colleagues to vote 
``yes'' on this bill.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Escobar).
  Ms. ESCOBAR. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 2, a shameful, 
unserious bill that would shutter our country's asylum system and make 
the situation at the border much worse.
  For decades, Congressional Republicans have blocked efforts to reform 
outdated immigration laws, choosing to focus only on the border, 
believing that if we can be cruel enough, that would deter desperate 
people from seeking asylum at our Nation's front door. That hasn't 
worked, and H.R. 2 is more of their same failed approach.
  We all want an orderly, well-managed border, especially those of us 
who live and raise our families on the border, but there is a critical 
difference that exists from there.
  Many of my Republican colleagues want no immigration at all, and many 
believe cruelty is an effective deterrent. But my Democratic colleagues 
and I and, indeed, most Americans, know that we must and should have 
legal pathways coupled with enforcement and strategic investment in 
order to achieve a functional system.
  This bill is an extremist Republican wish list that caters to the 
party's most warped values by jailing children and families and 
extinguishing asylum. The cruelty, unfortunately, is the point. It is 
no wonder that this bill has been called un-Christian.
  I represent El Paso, Texas. I am a proud third-generation El Pasoan, 
and it is where I raised my two children. My community has been at the 
forefront of immigration for decades, and El Pasoans have always 
stepped up to help migrants.
  Our local governments and NGOs work alongside U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection to provide migrants with food, a place to sleep, and 
assistance finding transportation to their next destination. We 
collaborate the best we can, united in our shared humanity.
  In 2019, for the first time, local partners became eligible to 
receive Federal funding for this work, and that has been critical to El 
Paso and other border communities.
  H.R. 2 will bring that funding to an end and would make it illegal 
for NGOs to provide any services, from a bottle of water to a safe 
place to sleep.
  Let me remind you of Matthew 35:36, ``For I was hungry and you gave 
me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, 
I was a stranger and you invited me in, I need clothes and you clothed 
me, I was sick and you looked after me.''
  This bill would decimate the systems that border communities have 
built and would literally, by design, create a humanitarian 
  Because of this and many other shameful provisions, I urge my 
colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand against this bill and 
work with those of us who are committed to a real bipartisan solution.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Moore).
  Mr. MOORE of Alabama. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to make it clear that 
Biden's border policies are anything but compassionate.
  Nearly 300 suspected terrorists have been caught trying to cross our 
border this year, and those are just the ones we caught. How many 
actually made it through?
  As we speak, American border towns are being flooded with unvetted 
migrants that have nowhere to go. City streets are becoming homeless 
encampments. Farm land is being trampled.

[[Page H2260]]

  Migrants from over 100 countries, including China and Russia, are 
paying up to $15,000 a piece to be smuggled across our border by 
criminal cartels. If they can't pay, migrants are forced to work off 
their debt. The administration is creating a program of either 
drug mules or indentured servants.

  Many of these migrant children are brought here by false 
advertisements of free passage in their countries. The Biden 
administration has lost 85,000 children. This is unacceptable. These 
are the things that should keep Americans awake at night.
  Our border is dangerous, not only for the American people whose 
communities are being pumped full of drugs and crime, but also those 
seeking to cross illegally who turn into slaves or drug mules.
  The numbers are clear: 85,000 children have been lost; 1,000 migrant 
bodies found along the southern border; 120,000 fentanyl deaths in our 
country, and the numbers continue to rise. Where is the compassion in 
  President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas must answer for the fentanyl 
deaths, the illegal encounters, and the unaccompanied children we have 
  A closed border is a compassionate border, and this week, Republicans 
have brought a real solution to the table by introducing H.R. 2. I urge 
all my colleagues to vote in favor of this bill.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lofgren).
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, there is lots wrong with this bill, as has 
been mentioned by others, turning children back to their smugglers at 
the border and the like, but I will focus on the issue of those fleeing 
communist oppression.
  For years, we had bipartisan agreement. We welcomed those who flee 
communist oppression. Today is Vietnam Human Rights Day and it reminds 
us that we welcomed a million refugees fleeing communism in Vietnam. We 
welcomed Cubans fleeing Fidel Castro. We welcomed Nicaraguans and 
Venezuelans who fled communist oppression.
  This bill would upend that tradition. It would turn away people who 
are fleeing oppression from communist and totalitarian persecution.
  Now, there was a time when both sides of the aisle opposed communism 
and welcomed people who were fleeing communist oppression. What 
happened to you?
  I stand on the side of political dissidents who believe in freedom 
and who are fleeing communist oppression.
  There is one more thing. This bill would cripple American 
agriculture. I realize there was a fig leaf added about an assessment 
on ag. We all know that will.
  The bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which this House 
passed twice, had E-Verify in the bill, but only with the reforms for 
ag. I believe our laws ought to be enforced, but we need laws that can 
work, and that is what our bipartisan farm workforce bill did. This 
bill doesn't do that.
  An estimated half of farm workers in America are undocumented. Kick 
them out of the fields, and farmers are going to hurt big time. The 
cost of food will skyrocket. This is a very poor idea.
  I will just say this: All of us want to have an orderly system. The 
disorder is obvious at the border, but this bill is mean, and it won't 
fix it.
  We have a variety of proposals to reform the immigration laws. We are 
still working on the outline from the 1965 act. It is a small wonder 
that it doesn't work very well for America in 2023.
  I urge a ``no'' vote on this bill, and I urge all of my colleagues to 
work with us together to craft measures in immigration and immigration 
enforcement that will actually work for the United States. This bill 
doesn't do that.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Diaz-Balart), the sponsor of H.R. 2.
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Mr. Speaker, in just a few hours, the Biden 
administration will end the enforcement of title 42. This 
administration estimates that we could see 13,000 immigrant encounters 
per day at the border.
  So clearly, allowing title 42 to end with no plan to secure our 
border is not only negligent, but it severely jeopardizes the national 
security interests of our country.
  But you see, the cataclysm facing our border is not just due to the 
end of title 42, Mr. Speaker, but also to this administration's 
complete abdication to do even the bare minimum to secure our southern 
  It is negligence and incompetence, Mr. Speaker, with fatal 
consequences. Instead, the administration has relinquished control to 
the narco-terrorist cartels who now control the southern border of the 
United States.
  The Biden administration's policies are dangerous to our national 
security, Mr. Speaker, but they have deadly consequences for Americans 
and for immigrants alike.
  Heck, even The New York Times has highlighted the fact that 90,000 
unaccompanied minors are unaccounted for and, frankly, are possibly 
being trafficked.
  It is immoral, Mr. Speaker, that the Biden administration refuses to 
take action to end human trafficking, stop the deadly influx of drugs 
into the United States, confront the cartels, protect those minors that 
are being trafficked, and enhance our outdated asylum process.
  Those, by the way, who have legitimate claims, those folks are also 
victims of this broken system.
  However, today, this House has a solution to help take back control 
of our border. H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act, which I am so proud 
to have sponsored with my colleague and friend, Mr. McClintock, 
provides real solutions to restore order to the southern border, 
strengthen our national security, enhance our broken immigration 
system, and protect innocent minors while enforcing the rule of law, 
the rule of law, Mr. Speaker.
  So if you are concerned about our national security, or the safety of 
our fellow Americans, and immigrants, the safety of our immigrants, or 
the rule of law, I respectfully but, frankly, strongly urge you to vote 
for this great bill, H.R. 2.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Ivey).
  Mr. IVEY. Mr. Speaker, I will support legislation that fairly and 
appropriately addresses the serious shortcomings in our country's 
immigration laws, but, unfortunately, H.R. 2 is not that bill.

  H.R. 2 is a false promise to the extreme Republican base. The Senate 
has already made it clear that this bill is dead on arrival. But even 
if the bill somehow passed, it does not provide funding to build a 
wall, nor hire more Border Patrol officers, nor retain those we already 
  A cornerstone of H.R. 2, and its first major provision, is a return 
to Donald Trump's quest to build a wall along our southern border. But 
the Republican bill doesn't even provide the money to pay for it.
  The bill calls for a wall that is at least 900 miles long, but it 
would not stop the flow of fentanyl. The Sinaloa cartel in Mexico 
routinely drives by the wall that is already there, flies over the 
wall, and tunnels underneath it, as we learned during the DOJ takedown 
of the Sinaloa cartel a few weeks ago.
  The wall would also be a financial disaster. H.R. 2 presumes that the 
wall would be funded with unspent money that has been allocated for the 
wall. But former President Trump siphoned away much of the unspent 
funds for the wall from other departments and the programs for those 
funds were eventually returned to them.
  According to the CBO's analysis, another 160 miles of the wall would 
have to be built to reach the 900-mile mandate that is in the bill. In 
estimating these costs, CBO wrote: ``CBO estimates an average cost per 
mile of $25 million. . . . CBO expects that previously appropriated 
amounts could cover the cost of 80 miles of construction; thus, CBP 
would need an additional $2 billion to complete the other 80 miles.''
  On top of that, the Republicans just announced that they proposed a 
22 percent cut across the board for much of the government, including 
  In March, I joined my colleagues on a visit to the southern border. 
We met with Customs and Border Patrol officers. The border officers 
were unanimous in the need for more resources, more agents, and more 
technology. We took their comments to heart.

[[Page H2261]]

  During the markup, Democrats sought to provide more immigration 
judges, more processing centers that combined Federal, State, and local 
resources, but those amendments were also voted down by Republicans.
  Democrats also sought to ensure that Border Patrol officers were paid 
according to the established civil pay scale; expand technology to x-
ray trucks at the border, where over 90 percent of the fentanyl enters 
the United States; boost the quantity and quality of drones used by our 
officers to cut the cartel's 17-1 advantage in drones they now use to 
traffic drugs and other contraband; and add 1,700 Border Patrol 
officers to manage the border and intercept the flow of illegal drugs, 
such as fentanyl.

                              {time}  1145

  But all of these amendments were rejected by our Republican 
  Worse still, the Republican bill prohibits NGOs, like the American 
Red Cross and The Salvation Army, from providing essential goods and 
services to migrants who desperately need them.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 1 minute to the 
gentleman from Maryland.
  Mr. IVEY. Mr. Speaker, this is why many groups have written letters 
of opposition to H.R. 2, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic 
Bishops, the AFL-CIO, Catholic Charities, and 136 humanitarian aid 
organizations who signed a joint letter of opposition.
  For example, the bishop of El Paso and the chairman of the U.S. 
Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration wrote: ``As 
drafted, these provisions could even be interpreted to prevent schools, 
houses of worship, and other organizations from qualifying for the 
Nonprofit Security Grant program amid a rise in violent attacks on 
those places.''
  The bishop also noted that DHS's ability to rescue persons 
encountered in the desert in life-threatening circumstances and process 
unaccompanied children, victims of trafficking, victims of torture, and 
others, who even under this bill's terms would warrant such processing, 
could be precluded.
  Mr. Speaker, for these and many other reasons, I thoroughly oppose 
H.R. 2.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Guam (Mr. Moylan).
  Mr. MOYLAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 2, because 
protecting America's borders also means protecting my community.
  Guam is geographically closer to China than any other part of the 
United States. For that reason, I view border security as an important 
piece of national security.
  While securing the border, H.R. 2 also makes it easier for employers 
to hire H-2A workers. I support these efforts, because the similar H-2B 
visa program is an irreplaceable source of labor for the Department of 
Defense and is absolutely necessary to supplement Guam's construction 
labor force, which ultimately serves the purpose of protecting our 
  Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleagues for their work on H.R. 2.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Garcia).
  Ms. GARCIA of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 2, the 
Secure the Border Act of 2023, scheduled for a vote on the House floor 
later today. This legislation is harmful, dangerous, irresponsible, and 
just plain wrong.
  Instead of securing the border, this bill will separate families, put 
human lives at risk, lead to more unlawful migration by blocking off 
lawful pathways to protection, and waste taxpayer dollars on an 
ineffective wall that can't even withstand wind much less criminal 
smuggling cartels.
  Instead of treating this like the emergency that it is, House 
Republicans focus on immigration solely at the border, providing 
billions of dollars in so-called border security, building walls, 
increasing personnel, and rapid expulsion policies.
  Since 1998, at least 8,000 undocumented migrants have died attempting 
to cross the border from Mexico to the U.S.
  People are dying. They are dying every day. Children are exploited. 
They are exploited every day. Families are being separated. They are 
being separated every day.
  We have all been waiting for many years, 27 years, in fact, since the 
last meaningful legislation on immigration reform was passed by this 
  Since then, Republicans have rejected every bill that has been 
proposed. This bill, again, is wrong. It is not a solution. It is a 
slap in the face to our immigration system.
  There is no time left, Mr. Speaker. This bill is extreme, it is 
wrong, and what we really need is safe immigration law now.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge a ``no'' vote on this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to add the text of my amendment 
into the Record immediately prior to the vote on the motion to 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Moran), the author of one of the measures in the bill.
  Mr. MORAN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman of the Judiciary 
Committee, Mr.   Jim Jordan of Ohio, and my colleagues, Mr. Diaz-Balart 
of Florida, Mr. McClintock of California, and Mr. Green of Tennessee, 
for working so diligently on this comprehensive border security 
  This package will work to physically secure our borders; protect the 
sovereignty of our Nation; protect the lives, livelihoods, the property 
of current American citizens, those that are here legally, and give 
hope to those from outside our country who seek to find a better life 
here by restoring surety and sanity to the immigration process.
  The ability of our Nation to continue to be the world's haven and 
leader in both liberty and generosity is directly related to our 
ability to first preserve the rule of law here, protect the sanctity of 
America's geographic boundaries, and preserve the greatness of our 
Nation from within.
  Earlier this year, in a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, the 
El Paso county judge said explicitly and without reservation that there 
was ``no crisis at the southern border,'' but the facts, the pictures, 
the videos, and the personal testimonies of those on the border tell a 
different story. Ironically, just last week, the mayor of the city of 
El Paso declared a state of emergency for the city because of this 
very border crisis.

  For 2 years now, Secretary Mayorkas has told the American people that 
the Department of Homeland Security has ``operational control'' of the 
southern border. We know better.
  Despite the administration sending 1,500 U.S. troops to the border 
just in the past couple weeks, these actions are too little, too late. 
More correctly, they are illusory in nature.
  Though we do need additional personnel on the border, what we really 
need is an administration with the resolve to simply enforce the rule 
of law and put American families ahead of politics.
  For too long, this administration has turned a blind eye to the 
crisis at the southern border. They have not enforced the policies and 
laws currently in place, and as a result, we have seen an influx of 
migrants crossing our border and illegally entering the United States 
over the last 2 years.
  These eleventh-hour measures taken by the Secretary of Homeland 
Security will sadly have little to no effect on stopping this historic 
surge because there is no will, no resolve, and no determination by the 
administration to stop this invasion.
  That is why House Republicans today are going to take decisive and 
historic action to do just as the American people need, and that is to 
secure our border.
  In East Texas, we see the direct and dire consequences of nonexistent 
immigration policies. Many more outside Texas in the past couple of 
years are beginning to see this, as well. Now is the time to take 
action. Now is the time to act with courage and boldness. Now is the 
time to pass H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Correa).

[[Page H2262]]


  Mr. CORREA. Mr. Speaker, I thank our colleagues on the other side of 
the aisle for taking on such an important and difficult task: 
immigration reform, the refugee crisis.
  My friends on the other side are absolutely correct. Title 42 is 
ending today. I have to remind you, when many of you voted to lift the 
COVID-19 emergency, you legally, effectively, voted to end title 42. 
Don't forget that. You voted to lift title 42.
  Today, we are facing a worldwide refugee crisis, the likes that we 
haven't seen since World War II. In World War II, we had 60 million 
refugees moving throughout Europe. This is what we are facing today.
  It is not only the United States. It is also Mexico, Guatemala, and 
Colombia, who is housing 2.4 million Venezuelan refugees. This is a 
challenge for all of us.
  We need real solutions. Under existing laws, we do have some 
  I am probably the only legislator here today that went to visit the 
Ukrainian refugee camps in Tijuana, Mexico, about a year ago. Let me 
tell you what I found: Ukrainian refugees in Tijuana waiting to cross 
into the United States.
  What did we do? We lifted title 42. We gave them temporary protective 
status, and walked them into the United States. Today, that refugee 
camp is gone. Why? Because those refugees can apply for status from 
Europe directly. That is a model that worked under existing laws, and 
the administration, this Biden administration, is implementing 
something very similar to that as we speak.
  Your proposal, my good friends on the other side of the aisle, has 
some challenges. I will start by talking about the biggest one: E-
Verify, mandatory E-Verify.
  We have a labor shortage in this country. Every time I get the small 
businessmen here, the large businessmen, or the farmers especially, 50 
percent of our farmworkers are undocumented today in this country. They 
are the ones who pick our crops. With forced E-Verify, you are 
essentially forcing, making small business owners criminals. They are 
going to have to choose between firing those employees, harvesting 
their crops, or becoming criminals. That is not the intent of your 
legislation, but that is effectively what you are doing today.
  My colleague from California knows that because that is why he pushed 
an amendment for the farming industry, for this exact reason.
  But we not only have farmers, we have small businesses as well in 
this country.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 1 minute to the 
gentleman from California.
  Mr. CORREA. Mr. Speaker, I would say E-Verify, without true 
immigration reform, is not going to work.
  My friends, I reach out to you across the aisle and say: Let's do 
this for America. Let's fix our broken immigration system, and let's 
address this worldwide refugee challenge right now.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Bergman). Members are reminded to direct 
their remarks to the Chair.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Arizona (Mr. Ciscomani).
  Mr. CISCOMANI. Mr. Speaker, I rise today as a proud product of the 
American Dream. I became a U.S. citizen in 2006, and today, 17 years 
later, I stand here as a Member of the United States Congress.
  I also stand here as a representative of southeastern Arizona. What 
is happening at the border is not part of the American Dream my family 
pursued and thousands of other families continue to pursue.
  We have seen babies abandoned in rivers, migrants dying in deserts, 
high-speed car chases through neighborhoods, and 85,000 children 
disappear after being released from HHS custody.
  We have a border crisis, a humanitarian crisis, and on the front 
lines are our border communities. Americans have been failed by the 
government designed to protect them.
  While our country suffers because of this administration's inaction, 
House Republicans have proposed a solution. H.R. 2 gives our agents and 
officers the resources they desperately need, closes loopholes in an 
abused asylum system, and protects innocent children from harm.
  This bill is a step away from the chaos we are seeing and a step 
closer to helping others achieve the American Dream I have been so 
blessed to live.

                              {time}  1200

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, it is important that we take a look at 
what we are doing here today. It is very obvious that we are addressing 
this question from the perspective of punishing families and punishing 
our children--yes, the children. The children are of all of us because 
we know that no matter what country, the children are our future.
  This legislation is supposed to be a border security bill done 
without bipartisanship and extensively rejecting thoughtful amendments 
given by the members of the Judiciary Committee and the Committee on 
Homeland Security.
  In Houston, this is to create an added nightmare in order not to be 
able to help those who are in need because they are coming. In fact, 
there are processes where they are able to access the process of 
  The fear that is made and given to the American people is to create 
hysteria rather than reason. I don't know what happened to the very 
reasonable, comprehensive immigration reform led by the late John 
McCain. Republicans ditched it, leaving DACA recipients, people who are 
EMS, doctors, and lawyers, still in limbo.
  Here we come again with this bill that is the child deportation bill. 
It says in Houston to Catholic Charities, or the National Association 
of Christian Churches that is helping in New York, that they will be 
made criminals because we will not allow them to help those who are 
coming forward who have status with paperwork for asylum, but yet, they 
are still unstatused and undocumented.
  It makes it absolutely impossible to come to the border to seek 
asylum. It upends the process and protections in place for 
unaccompanied children and requires all migrants seeking admission 
without a visa either to be detained or subjected to a program that 
Trump had. We know if we have someone who is going to, in essence, 
pardon all the January 6 persons, that is not a reliable policy.
  It is clear that mandating indefinite detention for all asylum-
seeking families and children is a deportation bill for children. 
Allowing children to be detained in Border Patrol facilities for an 
entire month is a cruel and inhumane act.
  Hold a 9-month-old baby in your arms who was separated from their 
family, and maybe then, as I did almost more than 6 years ago, almost 
10 years ago--this has been ongoing through all administrations. The 
only reason that the past administration had a title 42 is because of 
the pandemic.
  We need not to have that patchwork of disaster. We need to be able to 
ensure that we are working studiously to ensure it. Let me share with 
you these numbers.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the 
gentlewoman from Texas.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, people are, in fact, alarmed. They need 
to know that the migrants coming in are from Mexico. We do have an OTM, 
other than Mexican, people already going back--India, China, the 
Philippines, El Salvador, Vietnam, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, 
and Korea. It is widely diverse, based upon the persecution that people 
are feeling or the economic lack of life.
  As we proceeded to do this work, do you know, as I leave this podium, 
that if you are an overstay in a hospital, you can automatically be 
criminally charged? In an amendment, I said: What is the intent? Do you 
know whether they were in a hospital, or they had a funeral, that they 
were, in essence, near death? There is no mercy.
  Mr. Speaker, this legislation needs to go back to the drawing board. 
Americans and Houstonians are asking for us to do the right thing and 
to get security at the border and not have a bill that does nothing. 
That is what it does--absolutely nothing.

[[Page H2263]]

  Mr. Speaker, I am here today o reassert my opposition to the proposed 
legislation, H.R. 2--Secure the Border Act of 2023, and to again assert 
the need for strong reconsideration for the harm and damage this bill 
will do to the American people and those seeking citizenship into our 
country. I do believe America must have a secure border!
  I, along with my colleagues, have attempted to address some of the 
most glaring challenges this bill poses by offering common sense 
amendments, yet Republicans have continued to refuse any meaningful 
consideration. Let's work together for a secure southern and northern 
  H.R. 2 is in no way a serious measure that is being offered to 
resolve our current and ongoing dire needs to resolve immigration 
challenges and demands here in America.
  We need the American people to understand that this is merely an 
unfortunate patchwork of extreme anti-immigrant proposals that would 
only add to more chaos at the border.
  It includes a variety of illogical measures that would shut down the 
U.S. asylum system and target families and children for the cruelest 
forms of treatment.
  One measure would make overstaying a visa a crime--for the first time 
in our history.
  During the Judiciary Committee markup and the Rules Committee 
hearing, my Democratic colleagues and I could not get any Republican to 
roll back their punitive and damaging intent to harm any and all 
individuals seeking refuge and citizenship here in the U.S.--no matter 
the vulnerability of their age or their circumstances.
  One of my amendments in particular would have added a mens rea 
requirement such that in order to be criminally liable, a person must 
``knowingly and willingly'' overstay their visa.
  It is important to remember that an individual can make an honest 
mistake about when they need to depart the country, be physically 
incapable of departing the country, or unable to return because of 
circumstances beyond their control in their home country.
  Yet this bill has no exceptions or flexibility when it comes to 
overstaying a nonimmigrant visa.
  For example, a person who has a medical emergency in the United 
States and cannot leave within 10 days of their visa expiring would 
violate this new law and face up to six months in prison and a fine of 
up to $1,000.
  Or if a natural disaster prevents an individual from returning home 
for more than 10 days past the expiration of their status, they would 
be guilty of this crime and face 6 months in federal prison.
  It is also important to remember that if a person overstays their 
visa, they are already subject to removal.
  The addition of a criminal penalty is both cruel and unnecessary.
  This bill is extraordinarily punitive, with far-reaching implications 
that may go beyond what my colleagues intended, unless they wanted to 
make following current immigration a crime punishable by up to 6 months 
in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
  Our immigration system needs reforms, and we are absolutely 
interested in bold new ideas to fix it, but this is not one of them.
  That is why I also offered another amendment that would have simply 
created a critical exemption for Temporary Protected Status holders who 
overstay their visas.
  If this bill had been in place last year, a Ukrainian student would 
have broken the law and faced a fine and jail time if they had been 
approved for Temporary Protected Status after Russia invaded their 
home, and then stayed in the US in Temporary Protected Status for 
longer than the validity of their student visa.
  Perhaps if the majority had held a hearing on this topic, as they are 
supposed to under the regular order they love so much, they would 
understand the substantial problems with this legislation; perhaps we 
could have explored more realistic changes to our legal visa system.
  I also offered another commonsense amendment during the Judiciary 
Committee Markup to the provision of H.R. 2 restricting parole.
  H.R. 2 seeks to drastically limit the use of parole power but 
contradicts itself about how parole can be granted.
  The bill claims that it limits DHS from granting parole based on 
eligibility criteria describing an entire class of potential parole 
  Immediately following this prohibition, the bill outlines the 
eligibility criteria for two classes of people it deems worthy of 
receiving parole: the spouses and minor children of active duty 
servicemembers and certain Cuban family members of US permanent 
  The provision allowing parole for Cubans is modeled after Cuban 
Family Reunification Parole, which was created in 2007 to allow Cuban 
nationals with pending immigrant visa petitions to join their 
sponsoring family members in the United States.

  This program was suspended during the Trump administration in 2017, 
but processing resumed in September 2022.
  I am thrilled that Republicans have deemed this program worthy of 
keeping in place.
  Their previous anti-parole bills certainly didn't seem to think it 
was worth saving.
  However, I'm confused. There is another parole program, the Haitian 
Family Reunification Parole, which was created in 2014 and modeled 
after the Cuban program.
  This program carries nearly identical eligibility requirements, with 
more limitations.
  The Trump administration announced that it would terminate this 
program in 2019, about a year and a half after calling Haiti a ``s---
hole country.''
  Fortunately, the administration was unable to do terminate the 
program before leaving office and the Biden administration reversed 
this decision.
  The ongoing situation in Haiti is dire.
  Earlier this month, human rights groups released figures showing that 
kidnappings in the country had dramatically increased in the first 
three months of the year.
  The risk of kidnapping for Haitians is just one small piece of a 
wider crisis with escalating gang violence, a food shortage, a 
constitutional and law enforcement crisis, and a Cholera outbreak.
  I cannot think of any legitimate reason why we would keep the Cuban 
parole program, but not the Haitian program.
  My amendment simply would have added a provision to the parole 
section of this bill exempting this population from restrictions.
  It is time we stop the negativity and counterproductive efforts that 
are ripping apart our country, and to instead focus on coming together 
to work towards sensible and effective solutions that can work for the 
betterment and growth of our country.
  H.R. 2 is simply just another incredibly misguided Republican bill 
that further includes nonsensical and harmful changes to the current 
system for unaccompanied children (UACs) crossing the border.
  Under this bill, all unaccompanied children would be subject to a 
summary removal process, which would give them even fewer protections 
than current law provides for unaccompanied minors from contiguous 
countries like Mexico.
  H.R. 2 would eliminate the right of many children to seek protection 
in immigration court from human trafficking and other dangers, leaving 
them with only cursory screenings by law enforcement personnel lacking 
child welfare expertise.
  The incredulous bill would also bar existing efforts to provide 
government-paid counsel to unaccompanied children and subjects all 
unaccompanied children to an expedited screening and removal process, 
giving them just 14 days to prepare their case without a government-
provided attorney.
  Additionally, the bill prohibits anyone who entered the United States 
between ports of entry (unless they were interdicted at sea) from being 
able to seek asylum--notwithstanding the Majority's rejection of 
multiple amendments that would have exempted unaccompanied children 
from this restriction.
  Whereas, Democrats have proposed a range of solutions to address the 
humanitarian crisis at the border and improve protections for 
unaccompanied children.
  These proposals include increasing funding for HHS and DHS to ensure 
that unaccompanied children are properly cared for, and their sponsors 
are thoroughly vetted, expanding access to legal counsel for these 
children, and addressing the root causes of migration from Central 
America through diplomatic and development initiatives.
  Democrats also support comprehensive immigration reform that would 
create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and improve 
border security measures while respecting the rights and dignity of all 
  In March 2021, President Eiden signed a memorandum creating a task 
force to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border during 
the Trump administration's ``zero tolerance'' policy.
  The task force is composed of officials from several agencies, 
including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of 
Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
  Democrats have proposed legislation, such as the Dream Act and the 
American Dream and Promise Act, that would provide a pathway to 
citizenship for young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as 
children, also known as Dreamers.
  In July 2021, the House passed a bill that would create a pathway to 
citizenship for undocumented farmworkers and their families, called the 
Farm Workforce Modernization Act.
  This would protect workers from exploitation and abuse and would 
provide stability for the agricultural industry.
  Democrats have advocated for a comprehensive immigration reform 
package that would address the root causes of migration, improve border 
security, and create legal pathways for people to enter the U.S. 

[[Page H2264]]

  In September 2021, the Biden administration announced plans to 
increase the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. annually, 
following a historic low under the previous l administration.
  This move would provide opportunities for people who are fleeing 
violence and persecution to find safety and stability in the U.S.
  Over the years, the Democrat party is making sure that these 
unaccompanied children stay safe and have a legal documentation in the 
United States, while the Republican party sadly has steadfastly opposed 
all the legislation that benefits these children.
  I ask my colleagues to come together and move past the discord and to 
stand true to our ideals as Americans and protect our most vulnerable--
to protect all children who come to us in need.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Ohio (Mr. Jordan), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
  Mr. JORDAN. Mr. Speaker, since Joe Biden took office: 5 million 
illegal border crossings have been encountered, another 2 million 
illegal aliens have been released into the country, and over 370,000 
unaccompanied alien children have been encountered on the border. The 
Biden administration has lost track of 85,000 kids of that number. 
Nearly 200 on the terrorist watch list have been encountered on our 
border. At midnight tonight, it gets worse. It gets worse tonight.
  Here is the kicker. It has all been done intentionally. Day one, 
January 20, 2021, Joe Biden said: No more wall. No more remain in 
Mexico. If you get to the border, you get released into the country.
  Well, shazam, everyone is going to come. That is exactly what has 
happened. They are all coming. Tonight, it gets worse.
  It was done in a premeditated fashion, deliberate fashion, purposely. 
It was all done intentionally. I cannot figure out why they would do 
  Who seized on this? The cartels. They are making tons of money 
exploiting people and kids. It is terrible.
  This bill, the strongest immigration enforcement legislation in 
modern times, does all kinds of good things on E-Verify, visa overstay, 
parole authority, the Flores decision, unaccompanied alien children, 
and asylum reforms.
  The best part of this bill, the key component of this bill, is where 
we say that if you come to our country, you will get, according to the 
law, to file your asylum claim. We are going to follow the law, but you 
will be detained or returned while your claim is adjudicated.
  We changed the incentive. If you don't do that, you never solve this 
problem. That is what this legislation does.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the leadership of our Conference, the Speaker, 
the leader, the whip, and the Conference chair, their staff, Andrea 
Loving and her staff for doing an amazing job.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Biggs, Mr. Bentz, Mr. Roy, Mr. Tiffany, Mr. 
Calvert, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Carter, Mr. Moran, Chairman Green, and Mr. 
Diaz Balart, who sponsored the legislation.
  The guy who deserves the most thanks is the chairman of the 
Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement. 
Without his work, his effort, and how he has stuck to this issue and 
got it done, this doesn't happen.
  This is a good day for the country. Let's hope that the Senate will 
take up this bill after we pass it. This is the only thing that will 
help stop the craziness that, for 28 months now, has been going on, on 
our southern border.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, when I hear the rhetoric on the other side, 
it is one of the very few times I say to myself: Thank God for the 
existence of the United States Senate.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentlewoman from Washington 
(Ms. Jayapal).
  Ms. JAYAPAL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 2, the 
Secure the Border Act.
  From day one, Republicans made clear that they would pursue an 
unworkable enforcement-only approach. I was encouraged when I saw some 
of my Republican colleagues courageously standing up to their caucus to 
fight to protect access to asylum.
  Yet, here we are today, debating a cruel, extreme, and unworkable 
bill that guts asylum for everyone who does not live in a neighboring 
country or cannot afford to fly directly to the United States to seek 
  It is a bill that bars anyone who seeks protection by entering the 
country between ports of entry from ever being able to obtain asylum, 
even if they are an unaccompanied child or fleeing from a totalitarian 
  It is a bill that decimates Customs and Border Protection's ability 
to process people for asylum at ports of entry.
  It is a bill that mandates indefinite family detention and the 
detention of children.
  One Republican colleague told us that ``trying to ban legitimate 
asylum claims . . . is very anti-American.'' His words, not mine.
  Another Republican said: ``It will never pass the Senate if we are 
only talking border security.''
  Yet another Republican cautioned against only moving border security 
legislation, saying: ``It is immoral. . . . And it is wrong that we as 
a society allow for millions and millions of people to live in the 
  Mr. Speaker, I was encouraged by those comments because it showed me 
that there were people on the other side who understood, at least at 
some level, that what happens at the border is simply a symptom of an 
improper immigration system that desperately needs to be modernized to 
meet the needs of our economy and our families.
  I thought that perhaps we would be able to work together in a 
bipartisan way on those pieces instead of trying the same 30-year-old 
failed strategy of cruel enforcement-only methods that can continue to 
destroy legal pathways and violate our values. We all know those simply 
don't work.
  Unfortunately, it sounds like the Speaker has tempted those 
individuals who were talking with their values to now vote ``yes'' with 
a few meaningless concessions and promises. Their constituents will 
still know exactly what they are doing when they vote ``yes'' on this 
  The bill before us today has only gotten more extreme than when those 
initial comments were made. It still ends asylum. It still strips 
protections for unaccompanied children. It still mandates the detention 
of families and children. It will still wreck our economy.
  What Democrats are committed to, what our families and our country 
need, is to have an updated, orderly process for people to come to 
America, to stay, to work here, to be with their families and their 
loved ones, to have the ability to travel back and forth, to be seen in 
a country that too often uses immigrants without giving them full 
dignity and respect.

  The immigration system is made up of many different legal pathways--
whether you are a refugee fleeing war and economic devastation, an 
asylee who is fleeing persecution, or a worker who is seeking to come 
here and work in the many fields that demand immigrant labor and 
skills, from agriculture to healthcare; whether you are a child, a 
parent, or a sibling who seeks to be reunited with your immediate 
family; or whether you are somebody who wants to start a small business 
or lead a major company.
  Unfortunately, the previous administration stripped so many of those 
pathways, decimated the funding to process those who seek to come in, 
and did nothing for those who have been here often for 15 years or 
  That is why Democrats have put forward real, bipartisan solutions to 
humanely fix and modernize the immigration system, including the 
recently introduced comprehensive bill by Linda Sanchez to reform our 
immigration system in a humane way.
  Immigration has been the unique genius of America's history, 
necessary to our economic vitality, necessary to the success of the 
  We know what we need to do to fix the system, Mr. Speaker. That is 
not a question in terms of policy. In fact, just 10 years ago, a 
bipartisan, comprehensive immigration bill passed the U.S. Senate with 
68 bipartisan votes only to come to this floor, the floor of the House, 
where the Republican majority refused to bring it to a vote. Why? Why, 
Mr. Speaker, did it not come to a vote in the House with that huge of a 
bipartisan majority in the Senate? Because Republicans in the House 
knew that it would pass in a bipartisan way, and somehow my friends

[[Page H2265]]

on the other side think that it benefits them to have an immigration 
system that is broken so they can continue to vilify and demonize 
immigrants who are here and stop them from doing the work they need to 
do and from being respected. We need to call this hypocrisy out over 
and over again.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 1 minute to the 
gentlewoman from Washington.
  Ms. JAYAPAL. Mr. Speaker, the American people support immigration. We 
are ready to work with serious Republicans to pass meaningful reforms, 
not an enforcement-only strategy that will continue to be a failed 
strategy no matter who is in the White House, but actually a strategy 
that allows people to come to this country that upholds our values and 
that is not un-American but is the very essence of what America stands 
for, for so many people around the United States, including me, 
somebody who came here at 16 years old by myself to this country.
  Now, after so many years of fighting for this country, I am able to 
be here as a United States Congress Member. Those are the values that 
we need to remember.
  Vote ``no'' on this extreme, unworkable, cruel bill. It is a 
patchwork of overlapping and contradictory bills that are just about 
enforcement only, not about real solutions.
  Mr. Speaker, it is clear that my friends on the other side do not 
have real solutions to this issue and just want to keep this out there 
so we can continue to demonize immigrants. Democrats will not stand for 
it. Vote ``no.''
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Nehls).
  Mr. NEHLS. Mr. Speaker, let's be clear. We are here today because Joe 
Biden opened his mouth.
  When Joe Biden took office, he had to do nothing. He had to do 
nothing to secure our southern border. All he had to do was keep 
President Trump's policies in place. Instead, he halted the 
construction of the Trump border wall and left over 150 miles of 
planned border wall unbuilt.

                              {time}  1215

  As I stand here today, materials are lying at our border, they are 
lying on the ground, and they are rusting in the sun as hundreds of 
thousands of illegal aliens wait to flood into our country.
  To date, Mr. Speaker, over 5 million illegal aliens have invaded our 
border, and an additional 1.5 million of them, the bad hombres, have 
evaded capture since Joe Biden took over.
  This historic legislation restores Trump-era immigration policies 
that prioritize the safety of the American people, take away the 
incentives that the Biden administration created to encourage illegal 
aliens to enter our country, defend our brave Border Patrol agents, 
and, of course, reform the asylum process.
  H.R. 2 criminalizes those who overstay their visas, stops the abuse 
of parole authority to bypass immigration law, and helps employers to 
ensure that the workers they are hiring are legal and authorized to 
work in the United States.
  It is past time we restored law and order at our southern border. We 
cannot continue to allow illegal aliens to infiltrate our country, kill 
American citizens, rob hardworking Americans of healthcare and other 
services, increase housing costs, crowd our Nation's public schools, 
and create a country filled with chaos.
  Mr. Speaker, if you think the homeless problem is bad now, just wait. 
The Biden administration has failed to prioritize the safety of our 
country, our families, our livelihoods, and our children's future.
  House Republicans are committed to securing the border and ending the 
national security crisis that the Joe Biden administration has created 
and ignored.
  Mr. Speaker, I encourage my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this 
legislation. Let's take back control of our southern border and restore 
the rule of law.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Doggett).
  Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Speaker, rain can be a blessing or a curse depending 
on whether we get too much or too little. Like water, America can 
sustain our prosperity and our strength by the flow of people who want 
to come here, if they can come here legally. What Republicans rave 
about as a crisis, if properly addressed, represents a great 
opportunity for our country.
  By overcoming Republican opposition last year, we have achieved the 
lowest unemployment in America in 50 years. If every single American 
who is reported as unemployed today were to take a job, we would still 
have millions of unfilled jobs in this country.
  Our economy is crying out ``help wanted'' to which Republicans 
respond, ``keep out,'' and ``let's build a wall to wall us off from the 
rest of the world.''
  We have a serious worker shortage. Our economic growth today is being 
slowed because so many businesses cannot find the workers they need to 
fulfill the needs of their customers.
  Yet, just across our border are a host of people who are looking for 
a job. We need construction workers. We need workers to care for the 
old, the ill, and the young, and restaurant and other service jobs. 
Some of them are very highly skilled, and some of them are hardly 
  If some immigrants could work in this country and come here legally 
and go home when they need to, then they wouldn't be risking their 
lives in deserts, dying in dangerous rivers, and sitting on the streets 
of our border communities.
  Certainly, we cannot take everyone who wants to come here. We need 
rules for orderly immigration and for fairness. They are the rules that 
Republicans have blocked in this Congress for years. So long as they 
see any immigrant hysteria as more valuable to them politically than 
finding a solution, then we are not going to get there. Today's vote 
represents just their latest refusal to accept reality and another 
refusal to enact a comprehensive and reasonable system for legal entry 
for workers.
  There is, of course, a humanitarian aspect. Our Dreamers, who were 
brought here as little children and many of whom are now adults, are 
facing years of uncertainty. A nurse, a Travis County prosecutor, a 
teacher, and many students whom I have met personally, still don't know 
how long they can tell their employer they can work. There is so much 
they have to contribute. Multiple studies show they will only 
strengthen our economy.
  There are other families in Texas border towns today who have risked 
everything to escape oppression and corrupt and authoritarian 
governments like Venezuela. Many of them have legitimate claims for 
political asylum, but the Republicans have abandoned the promise of our 
Statue of Liberty.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from Texas.
  Mr. DOGGETT. America's strength has always been found in our 
diversity. Let's overcome the fearmongering and the anti-immigrant 
hysteria and do the serious, hard work of passing genuine comprehensive 
immigration reform. Let's turn immigration into a true win for the 
American people.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Kiley).
  Mr. KILEY. Secure the border. Mr. Speaker, this isn't something we 
should have to insist upon. It shouldn't be controversial. It shouldn't 
be a source of partisan contention. It is a basic and foundational 
responsibility of government, and one that is currently being neglected 
like never before with devastating consequences all across the country.
  Perhaps the worst of those consequences is the fentanyl crisis. We 
are seeing staggering amounts of fentanyl pour across the southern 
border, flooding our communities with illicit and lethal pills killing 
tens of thousands of Americans every year.
  We know exactly where these drugs are coming from. The Biden 
administration's own Drug Enforcement Agency admits that Mexican-based 
cartels are responsible for the vast majority of fentanyl and meth that 
is killing Americans. Just over the past year alone, the DEA seized 193 
million deadly doses of fentanyl. This is now the leading cause of 
death for young people

[[Page H2266]]

in our country--more than car accidents and more than suicides--more 
than anything.
  It is affecting every community in our country, including my own. 
During the State of the Union, I was honored to have as my guests two 
of the Nation's leading advocates for fentanyl awareness, and those are 
the parents of a young man named Zach Didier, who tragically lost his 
life. He was a senior at Whitney High School, a standout student with 
no history of drug use, and from one pill, he tragically lost his life. 
His parents had to go through the gut-wrenching experience of seeing 
him get letters in the mail accepting him to some of our Nation's 
leading universities after he had passed away.
  There simply can be no doubt--it is beyond doubt--that the current 
failure to secure our border is resulting in tragic and avoidable loss 
of life every day.
  Today, we have a chance to do something about it by passing H.R. 2. 
This is one of the most important bills that will be considered in the 
118th Congress. It is one of the most important pieces of legislation 
that we will ever vote upon.
  It is a comprehensive border security package, Mr. Speaker, and I 
urge an ``aye'' vote.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Oregon (Ms. Bonamici).
  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 2--
this harmful, partisan, Republican legislation--for many reasons, but 
especially because it will endanger people seeking asylum.
  This bill takes us backwards after years of acknowledging the need 
for comprehensive immigration reform. The expansion of family detention 
in this bill will hurt children and families. It is costly, and it does 
not work as the majority claims.
  Mental health and medical experts agree that jailing immigrant 
families exposes children to high levels of trauma and distress. We 
should be expanding effective programs like Family Case Management, but 
this bill guts the program and will undermine its proven record of 
close to 90 percent compliance.
  We live in a country of immigrants, and our Nation is stronger 
because of its diversity.
  I urge all of my colleagues to oppose building walls and detention 
centers and support comprehensive, humane immigration reform that will 
strengthen our economy, enhance our security, and reflect our core 
values as Americans.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record an article from Social Science & 
Medicine about the high levels of mental health distress experienced by 
children who are held in immigration detention.

            [From Social Science & Medicine, Apr. 29, 2019]

Mental Health of Children Held at a United States Immigration Detention 

 (By Sarah A. MacLean, Priscilla O. Agyeman, Joshua Walther, Elizabeth 
              K. Singer, Kim A. Baranowski, Craig L. Katz)

                            1. Introduction

       Immigrant children who are newly arrived in the United 
     States demonstrate more positive developmental outcomes, such 
     as resiliency and positive academic attitudes, than their 
     U.S.-born peers (Marks et al., 2014). However, several 
     environmental factors could contribute to the development of 
     psychological distress in these children and their families 
     once in the U.S. In addition to exposure to acculturation 
     stressors (Alegria and Woo, 2009; Suarez-Orozco and Suarez-
     Orovco, 2001), immigrants may also encounter deleterious 
     medical and mental health outcomes associated with perceived 
     discrimination (Pascoe and Smart Richman, 2009). Latinx 
     immigrants also face health disparities driven by state-level 
     immigration policies (Philbin et al., 2018). Furthermore, 
     immigration policy and fears associated with deportation may 
     increase the risk of emotional distress among immigrants who 
     enter the U.S. without inspection or who remain without a 
     valid visa (Cavazos-Rehg et al., 2007; Martinez et al., 
     2015). The forced dislocation from family, communities, and 
     employment associated with deportation from the U.S. is also 
     related to negative mental health outcomes (Bojorquez et al., 
     2015; Morris and Palazuelos, 2015).
       Beginning in 2014, there have been significant increases in 
     the number of individuals and their families from Guatemala, 
     El Salvador, and Honduras seeking asylum in the U.S. (Mossaad 
     and Baugh, 2018). Many women and children fleeing these 
     nations have reported experiencing human rights violations in 
     their countries of origin associated with gang-related and 
     intimate partner violence in the context of un-responsive law 
     enforcement and government presence (UNHCR, 2014, 2015). 
     Asylum seekers may experience a range of mental health 
     outcomes associated with their experiences of persecution 
     (PHR, 2012). They may continue to be emotionally affected by 
     trauma experienced in their home countries, as well as the 
     dangers and violence they often encounter during migration 
     (Temores-Alcantara et al., 2015). In addition, the very 
     process of seeking asylum may also contribute to their 
     psychological distress, as survivors are required to 
     participate in potentially retraumatizing asylum interviews 
     or adversarial immigration hearings (Schock et al., 2015).
       The U.S. has also increased its capacity to detain 
     immigrant families seeking asylum through the creation of 
     more detention centers specifically designated for women and 
     children over the past five years (Eagly et al., 2018). 
     Asylum seekers in expedited removal are held in U.S. 
     immigration detention while they await a screening interview 
     for credible fear, where an asylum officer evaluates whether 
     the asylum seeker has a credible fear of persecution or 
     torture upon returning to their country of origin (HRF, 
     2018). This step is the first to determine eligibility for 
     asylum. Adults and children being held in immigration 
     detention demonstrate high rates of deleterious mental health 
     outcomes such as depression and anxiety (Keller et al., 2003; 
     Mares and Jureidini 2004). Studies conducted outside the U.S. 
     have shown that detained immigrant children present with a 
     high prevalence of depression/anxiety (10 percent) and post-
     traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, 20 percent) (Buchmuller et 
     al., 2018; Sen et al., 2017). Research findings also indicate 
     that children held in immigration detention settings may 
     experience social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties at 
     higher rates than those seen in the community (Sarkar and 
     Gupta. 2007; Zwi et al, 2018).
       To our knowledge, there have been no large empirical 
     studies that have evaluated the mental health of children in 
     immigration detention in the U.S. Previous studies 
     documenting the mental health of children in U.S. immigration 
     detention, though compelling, have been largely qualitative 
     and anecdotal (Brabeck et al., 2014), or have been from the 
     perspective of lawyers in the field (Bailey et al., 2014). 
     Furthermore, experts assert that the controversial policy of 
     forcibly separating children from their parents at the U.S.-
     Mexico border is detrimental to children's health and 
     wellbeing (MacKenzie et al., 2017), therefore prospective 
     research on the effects of this policy is needed. Given the 
     significant environmental factors that may contribute to the 
     development of psychological difficulties in these children, 
     we sought to understand the current state of mental health in 
     this population.

                               2. method

       We conducted a cross-sectional evaluation study of children 
     held at an immigration detention center over two months in 
     mid-2018. This center detains women who are accompanied by at 
     least one child under the age of 18 in U.S. Immigration and 
     Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. We interviewed a 
     convenience sample of 425 mothers who presented to the 
     visitation center of the detention center. Mothers were 
     eligible to participate if they spoke English or Spanish and 
     if one of their children detained with them was between 4 and 
     17 years of age. The purpose of the study was stated 
     explicitly to mothers, and they were informed that their 
     participation and responses would not impact their legal 
     proceedings. Mothers who volunteered to participate provided 
     informed written consent and were interviewed in private 
     rooms or other areas of the visitation center that ensured 
     confidentiality. Nine mothers refused to participate. During 
     the time period of this study, 17 percent of the children 
     included in the sample had been previously separated from 
     their mothers. At the time of interviews, a subset of these 
     families had been recently reunited. All consenting mothers 
     completed a demographic survey that included items related to 
     country of origin, age of children, and date of arrival at 
     the detention center. Mothers were then asked questions about 
     their eldest child with them at the detention center.
       Each mother completed the English or Spanish parent-report 
     version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire 
     (SDQ), a 25-question screening instrument widely used 
     internationally in children age 4-17 years (Goodman, 2001) 
     and among refugee children (Zwi et al., 2017). The survey 
     includes items that assess the child's behavior and possible 
     responses are recorded as ``not true'' (0), ``somewhat true'' 
     (1), and ``certainly true'' (2). Based on these responses, 
     each participant received a score indicating total 
     difficulties and a score for the subscales of emotional 
     problems (e.g., feeling unhappy or having excessive fears), 
     conduct problems (e.g., being disobedient), hyperactivity 
     (e.g., being restless or easily distracted), and peer 
     problems (e.g., preferring to play alone). Participants also 
     received a prosocial score, which assesses behaviors such as 
     sharing with other children and volunteering to help others. 
     Consistent with the scoring of the SDQ, the resulting scores 
     were assigned to the ``normal,'' ``borderline,'' or 
     ``abnormal'' category for total difficulties and each 
     subscale. Cutoff scores were originally designed such that 
     roughly 80 percent

[[Page H2267]]

     of children's scores fall within the ``normal'' range, 10 
     percent within the ``borderline'' range, and 10 percent 
     within the ``abnormal'' range (Goodman, 1997).
       A subset of 150 children age 9-17 years also assented to 
     participate in the study following the informed written 
     consent for their participation by their mothers. These 
     children were part of a convenience sample of children who 
     were in the visitation center at the time of their mothers' 
     interviews. The children completed the UCLA Post-Traumatic 
     Stress Disorder Reaction Index (PTSD-RI) Symptom Scale, a 27-
     question screening tool used widely to assess symptoms of 
     PTSD in children (Steinberg and Beyerlein, 2013), including 
     refugee children (Ellis et al., 2006). Children were asked 
     how frequently they experienced core symptoms of PTSD in the 
     past month, with possible responses of ``non'' (0), 
     ``little'' (1), ``some'' (2), ``much'' (3), and ``most'' (4). 
     A symptom was considered ``present'' with a rating of 3 or 4. 
     Participants met the criterion for Category B 
     (reexperiencing) if ; 1 symptom was present and for Category 
     C (avoidance) if ; 1 symptom alterations in cognition and 
     mood) if ; 2 symptoms were present and for Category E 
     (increased arousal) if ; 2 symptoms were present. A probable 
     clinical diagnosis of PTSD was determined by meeting the 
     criteria for all 4 categories (Steinberg & B Beyerlein, 
     2013). Because a clinical assessment to establish a formal 
     diagnosis of PTDS was not included in this study, the term 
     ``probable PTSD'' will be used when referring to prevalence.
       We describe sociodemographic characteristics with 
     frequencies and percentages. We examined the prevalence of 
     outcomes for the SDQ and PTSD-RI subscales. Cronbach's alpha 
     for the SDQ and PTSD-RI were 0.768 and 0.908, respectively. 
     Covariates included age, gender, country of origin, and 
     previous separation from the child's mother. We considered 
     results to be significant if p < 0.05. All analyses were 
     performed using IBM SPSS (version 224).
       The research protocol, survey, and consent forms were 
     reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board at 
     the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. All participants 
     provided written, informed consent.

                               3. results

       Most mothers were from Honduras (50 percent), El Salvador 
     (23 percent), or Guatemala (22 percent), which is consistent 
     with the overall population of residents at this detention 
     center. The average age of the mothers and children were 33 
     (SD = 7) and 10 (SD = 4) years, respectively. At the time 
     of interviews, families had been detained at the center 
     for between one and 44 days, with an average detention of 
     nine (SD = 6) days.
       Based on their mothers' responses to the SDQ, the children 
     in this study demonstrated high rates of emotional problems 
     (32 percent), peer problems, (14 percent), and total 
     difficulties (10 percent) that fell within ``abnormal'' 
     range. Rates of conduct problems and hyperactivity were each 
     8 percent. Children did not differ significantly based on 
     gender or country of origin. Children aged 4-8 years showed 
     higher rates of conduct problems (15 percent), hyperactivity 
     (14 percent) and total difficulties (21 percent) that fell 
     within the ``abnormal'' range compared to older children (all 
     ps < 0.001). Compared to children who never had been 
     separated from their mothers, children who had been separated 
     showed higher rates of emotional problems (49 percent vs. 29 
     percent, p = 0.003) and total difficulties (15 percent vs. 9 
     percent, p = 0.015) that fell within the ``abnormal'' range. 
     Notably, the majority of participants' scores (98 percent) 
     fell within the ``normal'' range on the prosocial scale.
       Among the subset of 150 children who completed the PTSD-RI, 
     the mean age was 13.4 (SD = 2) and 37 (25 percent) had been 
     previously separated. Many met the criteria for avoidance (57 
     percent), reexperiencing (52 percent), negative alterations 
     in cognition and mood (42 percent), and increased arousal (22 
     percent). Based on the presence of symptoms of these 4 
     subscales, 17 percent of the children had a probable 
     diagnosis of PTSD. An additional 19 percent and 18 percent 
     met two and three of the criteria, respectively. Results of 
     the PTSD-RI did not differ significantly based on age, 
     gender, previous separation from mother, or country of 
     origin. Based on overall responses to both the SDQ and PTSD-
     RI, we found that 44 percent of children presented with 
     symptoms that fell within the ``abnormal'' range on at least 
     one of the SDQ subscales or a probable PTSD diagnosis.

                             4. Discussion

       The children of mothers who were interviewed at this 
     detention center showed higher rates of emotional and 
     behavior difficulties, as well as PTSD, compared to children 
     in the general U.S. population; notably, the mean emotional 
     symptoms subscale and total difficulties scores for the 
     participants were higher than those seen in U.S. primary care 
     populations (Biel et al., 2015; Simpson et al., 2005; 
     Youthinmind, 2004). While approximately 5 percent of children 
     in the U.S. have emotional or behavioral difficulties, the 
     rate of abnormal total difficulties in the study population 
     was 10 percent (Simpson et al., 2005). Furthermore, the 
     lifetime prevalence of PTSD among adolescents in the U.S. is 
     estimated at 4.7 percent, far below the 17 percent seen in 
     this sample (McLaughlin et al., 2013). Average total 
     difficulty scores for the participants (8.90 [SD 5.88]) were 
     higher than those seen in Spanish-speaking Latinx Americans 
     who are not in detention (6.80 [SD 5.001]) (Strand et al., 
     2015). The high rates of abnormal emotional (32 percent) and 
     peer problems (14 percent) seen in this sample are consistent 
     with high rates of abnormal scores for these subscales in 
     refugee children in Australia (23 percent) and 21 percent, 
     respectively) (Yalin Sapmaz et al., 2017; Zwi et al., 2017). 
     The high rate of probable PTSD (17 percent) in this study 
     group is also consistent with a high rate (20 percent) among 
     children held in immigration detention in the United Kingdom 
     (Sen et al., 2017). Of note, 98 percent of children had 
     normal scores on the prosocial scale, which includes items 
     such as being considerate of others' feelings and 
     volunteering to help others.
       Due to the cross-sectional nature of this study, we cannot 
     draw causal connections between arrival in the U.S., time in 
     immigration detention, and the development of behavioral or 
     emotional difficulties. Regardless of cause, the distress 
     seen in these children highlights the need for immediate 
     mental health treatment, as early intervention in children 
     who demonstrate signs of psychological difficulties is shown 
     to improve long-term emotional health (Terr, 2013).
       Of particular concern, these results demonstrate heightened 
     distress among detained children aged 4 to 8. Young children 
     are particularly vulnerable to the effects of their 
     environment, and trauma experienced early in life has a 
     significant effect on emotional and behavioral development 
     (Oral et al., 2016). These children, especially, would 
     benefit from early, developmentally-appropriate, and 
     specialized interventions to address these significant 
     stressors. Given the range of exposure to violence reported 
     by children fleeing Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador 
     (UNHCR, 2014), as well as the high rates of violence 
     experienced by migrants from these countries during their 
     journey to the U.S. (MSF, 2017), it is essential that these 
     young people receive treatment specific to ameliorating the 
     impact of posttraumatic stress.
       Children who had been separated from their mothers 
     demonstrated a significantly greater number of emotional 
     symptoms and total difficulties when compared to detained 
     children who had not been separated from their mothers, 
     suggesting that separation is associated with an increase in 
     psychological distress. When the U.S. government began 
     separating more migrant children from their parents in May 
     2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of 
     Physicians, and American Psychological Association each 
     released statements condemning the policy (Kraft, 2018; 
     Lopez, 2018; Stewart, 2018). These professional 
     organizations, as well as individual clinical practitioners, 
     warn of the deleterious mental health outcomes associated 
     with forcibly removing children from the security of their 
     families in both the short and long-term (Mackenzie et al., 
     2017). Our results, although correlational in nature, appear 
     to confirm these findings, at least in the short-term, and 
     reinforce expert opinion that separating immigrant children 
     from their parents causes emotional harm.
       Current published guidelines from ICE, last updated in 
     2007, indicate that each person held in immigration detention 
     should receive an intake screening and referral to a mental 
     health provider, either in the detention center or at an 
     outside location if deemed necessary (ICE, 2007). Given that 
     some of the children in this study expressed severe emotional 
     distress and anecdotally expressed difficulty obtaining 
     further mental healthcare within the facility, current 
     screening methods and/or current treatment services are 
     likely inadequate in quality and scope. Therefore, further 
     clarification from ICE is required regarding the nature of 
     available treatment, as well as the extent to which 
     clinicians who receive referrals have training in child 
     psychology or psychiatry, demonstrate cultural-competence, 
     and integrate a trauma-informed lens in their interventions. 
     Moreover, given the continued stressors associated with 
     detention, these children would benefit from specialized 
     mental health treatment outside of immigration detention 
     settings. Indeed, many experts recommend that children be 
     placed in the community while their immigration cases proceed 
     and we believe our findings add further credence to this 
     position (Linton et al., 2017).
       Limitations. Given the design of this study and the 
     restrictions of conducting research in an immigration 
     detention center, our results must be interpreted in the 
     context of several limitations. The participants represent a 
     convenience sample of the population of families, and only 
     those mothers who presented to the visitation center could be 
     recruited for participation. In addition, due to the nature 
     of the setting, some mothers completed the SDQ in their 
     child's presence, which may have influenced the mothers' 
     responses. Additionally, only a subset of older children was 
     asked to complete the PTSD-RI, as many were attending classes 
     at the facility's school at the time of their mothers' 

                             5. Conclusions

       Despite the limitations, this is one of the first studies 
     of the mental health of a particularly vulnerable population 
     of children being held in immigration detention in the U.S. 
     Our results demonstrate that detained children, and 
     especially those previously separated from their mothers, 
     experience significant psychological distress. Prior studies 
     have demonstrated that detention is deleterious to the mental 
     health of immigrants

[[Page H2268]]

     (Keller et al., 2003; Sen et al., 2017). We theorize that the 
     trauma in this population is observed as a continuum, 
     involving the premigration experiences of the subjects in 
     their countries of origin, their migration experiences, and 
     their subsequent detention in the U.S. Against this 
     background of trauma, detention and denial of adequate mental 
     health treatment are detrimental to the development of these 

  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Wyoming (Ms. Hageman).
  Ms. HAGEMAN. Mr. Speaker, we have a crisis at our southern border. It 
is a crisis that started in earnest on the day this President was sworn 
into office. On day one of his Presidency, he began issuing executive 
orders to end the successful policies implemented by the Trump 
administration. In total, President Biden issued 94 executive orders 
related to the border within his first 100 days in office.
  The results have been disastrous. Over 10 times the population of my 
home State of Wyoming has illegally crossed the border since Joe Biden 
has been President. At the same time, over 14,000 pounds of fentanyl 
have come across the Southwest border--enough to kill over 3.1 billion 
  Through the first 6 months of 2023, 80 people who appeared on the 
terrorist watch list have been caught trying to cross into the United 
States--more than the last 5 years combined.
  How many slipped through?
  We don't know.
  These numbers show that without a doubt, Joe Biden has enabled the 
largest drug smuggling and human trafficking operation in U.S. history, 
and he has made our country less safe in the process.
  Stopping illegal immigration is the number one issue for my 
constituents in Wyoming. We must fix the situation, and H.R. 2 does 
just that.
  It is time to finish the wall, end catch and release, protect women 
and children from human traffickers, stop the illegal drugs flowing 
into the country, fix our broken asylum process, and force this 
administration to finally address the disaster that they have created.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, may I ask how much time I have remaining.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from New York has 25\1/4\ 
minutes remaining.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Casar).
  Mr. CASAR. Mr. Speaker, I am the son of immigrants and proud to 
represent the heart of Texas here in the United States Congress. For 
generations, my family has moved back and forth between Texas and 
Mexico, Mexico and Texas. People immigrate. Sometimes they are in 
search of safety, and sometimes it is for economic opportunity, but 
always for family and a better life.
  What folks aren't immigrating for is to bring fentanyl into the 
country as folks on the other side of the aisle have been talking about 
time after time after time. In committee it was laid out very clearly 
that over 90 percent of folks arrested for fentanyl trafficking are 
U.S. citizens and lawful residents.
  That is why this Republican anti-immigrant bill, H.R. 2, is cruel, 
extreme, and not based on fact. It would destroy the asylum system, 
cage children and families indefinitely, and make the situation at our 
border worse.
  In fact, this bill would eliminate funding for much of the remaining 
legal immigration system that we have, leading to chaos, but chaos, 
unfortunately, is what top Republican officials want. They want the 
immigration system to stay broken so that they can blame Democrats for 
it. This is a case of arsonists blaming the firefighters for the 
  For example, Congressman Castro and I worked with the Biden 
administration to expedite funding to Texas this month to ensure that 
migrants can sleep in a safe shelter while they process their 
immigration case instead of being in a tent on the border. In stark 
contrast, this Republican bill in front of us today would ban this 
source for shelters and services.
  Immigrants sleeping on the streets of Texas may be a better shot for 
FOX News cameras, but it is a much worse deal for everyday people.
  In Texas we are still mourning those killed by a mass shooter in 
Allen. We are seeking justice for the kids and the teachers killed in 
Uvalde. We haven't fixed our electric grid, and people are struggling 
to pay their rent and their mortgage. We need help from this Congress, 
but instead we get hate for immigrants. We should be creating an 
economy that works for everyone--immigrant and native-born.
  We should be expanding our freedoms, not ripping away peoples' 
rights. Let's welcome asylum seekers fleeing violence and catastrophe 
with a safe and orderly system. Let's create pathways for legal 
immigration rather than the broken system today that forces people to 
go around the rules. Let's work toward a safer and more just and more 
prosperous Western Hemisphere so that we reduce those factors that are 
pushing mass migration.
  Let's look at the role of U.S. sanctions that starve people abroad 
instead of feeding them. Let's recognize that immigrants are a key part 
of our past and our present in this country.
  Many of our joint faith traditions call for us to care for our 
neighbors near and far. I remember when my priest told me the story of 
how the Holy family was persecuted by King Herod and how Jesus, Mary, 
and Joseph had to flee across the border into Egypt. They had to cross 
a big river. The priest said that he forgets whether the river was 
called the Nile or the Rio Grande, but that is beside the point. Today, 
our story is no different.

                              {time}  1230

  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire how much time I have 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Duarte). The gentleman from California 
has 36 minutes remaining.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Tiffany), the author of one of the measures in this 
  Mr. TIFFANY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this legislation, 
which is long overdue.
  For the last 2 years, this administration has systematically and 
deliberately erased our border. They have unleashed a tidal wave of 
illegal aliens and deadly drugs into our communities.
  They have enriched the cartels and human traffickers.
  They have disrespected the millions of legal immigrants who followed 
our laws and came here the right way.
  They have pushed our local hospitals and schools to the breaking 
point and forced you, the American people, to pick up the tab.
  Mr. Speaker, that ends today. This bill would restart border wall 
construction, add more Border Patrol agents, crack down on people 
gaming our asylum laws, and end the failed policy of catch and release.
  I am also pleased that this legislation includes a measure I authored 
to end the administration's flagrant abuse of parole.
  As everyone in this Chamber knows, parole authority is limited. It 
allows for the admission of foreigners without a visa under very narrow 
circumstances for urgent humanitarian reasons on an individual case-by-
case basis.
  It was intended to accommodate, for example, a young child seeking 
immediate lifesaving medical treatment that is only available here in 
the United States, but that is not how President Biden has used it. 
Instead, he has converted this narrow avenue into an open borders 
superhighway, indiscriminately admitting more than 1 million illegal 
immigrants over just the last 2 years.
  This is not just wrong, it is reckless.
  It is time to restore the rule of law, and it is time to restrain the 
dangerous impulses of this administration.
  Mr. Speaker, Americans are tired of the chaos. They deserve an 
immigration system that puts the safety and well-being of Americans 
first, and that is exactly what this bill does. I ask for a ``yes'' 
vote on the bill.
  I will close by thanking the gentleman from California (Mr. 
McClintock), who did such a stellar job of shepherding this bill 
through the Judiciary Committee and now onto the House floor.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Chu).
  Ms. CHU. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 2, the 
child deportation act.
  This bill is not a serious attempt to fix our broken immigration 
system and to address the humanitarian crisis at

[[Page H2269]]

our southern border. Rather, H.R. 2 is an anti-immigrant MAGA wish 
  It would put kids in cages and allow them to be held in Border Patrol 
facilities for up to 30 days, 10 times longer than current law.
  It would place unaccompanied children at risk of human trafficking, 
sexual exploitation, and violence.
  It would bar nongovernmental organizations, like the American Red 
Cross and Catholic Charities, from working with our government to 
shelter immigrants, creating dangerous and inhumane conditions for our 
border communities.
  It would decimate our asylum system by creating new and arbitrary 
restrictions for asylum seekers, all while gutting programs such as 
humanitarian parole that have been proven to reduce the number of 
arrivals at our border.
  It would exacerbate the crisis by tearing down our humanitarian 
assistance programs while reassigning border agents away from stopping 
the transport of illegal drugs like fentanyl.
  H.R. 2 will cause irreparable harm to children and families, 
undermine our international leadership, and hurt our economy.
  Yesterday, House Democrats presented a serious framework for how to 
fix and modernize our immigration system. The U.S. Citizenship Act, or 
USCA, recognizes that a robust, humane, and efficient immigration 
system makes America stronger.
  It would actually alleviate the humanitarian crisis at the southern 
border by helping the President address the root causes of migration 
and providing resources to humanely and efficiently process children 
and families who seek asylum here.
  It would also reunite families, fix our visa backlog, protect 
immigrant workers from unscrupulous employers, and ensure no future 
President can ban entire groups based on religion.
  I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this bill.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Louisiana (Mr. Johnson), the author of one of the other measures in 
this package.
  Mr. JOHNSON of Louisiana. Mr. Speaker, there has been so much 
misinformation here on the floor today, I think we have got to set the 
facts straight here.
  It is clear that providing refuge for individuals fleeing persecution 
has been a central tenet of U.S. immigration law for decades. The 
asylum process itself is a testament to America's history as a beacon 
of hope, freedom, and opportunity for millions around the world.
  However, here is the deal: Unfortunately, drug cartels, activist 
judges, human smuggling operations, the open borders lobby, and radical 
liberal administrations have worked in tandem to undermine that system, 
to undermine the integrity of the U.S. immigration system itself, and 
in the process they have weakened protections for those who are truly 
seeking a safe haven from persecution by forcing them into a yearslong 
line in immigration court.
  Look, we all agree that the current asylum system is in desperate 
need of repair, and the Secure the Border Act provides the necessary 
tools to fix it.
  We are hearing all kinds of fearmongering today from the other side. 
It is not a surprise. There will be hand-wringing and name-calling. We 
hear these accusations that Republicans are anti-immigrant and 
inhumane. We hear grandiose pronouncements that the Democrats are pro-
immigrant and pro-humanitarian values, but all of this is to try their 
best to distract the American people from what they are seeing with 
their own eyes. The chaos at the border is intentional. It is designed 
by this administration, Mayorkas, and Biden himself.
  To my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, I ask you, what is 
humane about a human smuggler abandoning a 1-year-old child in a diaper 
at the U.S.-Mexico border?
  What pro-immigrant policy is pursued with aliens suffocating to death 
in tractor-trailers and freight train cars?
  What are the humanitarian principles behind policies that encourage 
child trafficking, sexual exploitation, and violence directed toward 
some of society's most vulnerable people?
  If you are going to be pro-immigrant and support humanitarian values, 
you have to fix these problems, and that is what we are trying to do 
here today.
  Being pro-immigrant and supporting humanitarian values does not mean 
maintaining the disastrous status quo because all that is going to do 
is give us more death, more exploitation, more real tangible harm to 
aliens and citizens alike.
  Mr. Speaker, we live in the greatest country in the history of the 
world; it is not even close. We are the most benevolent people in the 
history of the world. We have a rich history of an asylum program, 
protecting people who need it, but we have to fix this. These frivolous 
asylum claims are creating backlogs in the courts.
  I drafted the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act. It is a big 
chunk of this immigration package today. We are trying to fix this so 
that we can do our duty as the humanitarian people that we are.
  Our bill necessarily codifies key terms; it makes uniform 
interpretations regardless of geography; and it reserves asylum for the 
people who truly need it. Our bill will prevent this flood of frivolous 
asylum applications that are running rampant and close the loopholes.
  Mr. Speaker, I encourage my colleagues to support the Secure the 
Border Act. Our country's stability, sovereignty, and security depend 
upon this. The stakes could not be any higher.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to direct their remarks 
to the Chair.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Velazquez).
  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition of this cruel, 
extreme, and unworkable policy.
  The United States has long been a beacon for those coming from other 
countries in search of a better life. The bill before us today will end 
the asylum system as we know it and eliminate humanitarian protections 
for people coming to the United States.
  Many asylum seekers are escaping conditions that we cannot fathom, 
yet here we are debating a measure that will subject them to more 
cruelty. Cruelty is the point, but cruelty will not fix our broken 
immigration system.
  This bill will make it nearly impossible to seek asylum at the 
border, upend protections for unaccompanied minors, and mandate that 
all asylum-seeking families be detained indefinitely, regardless if 
they are with children.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 1 minute to the 
gentlewoman from New York.
  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Speaker, these policies will only exacerbate the 
extreme suffering occurring at the southern border.
  If Republicans really wanted to address this crisis, they would join 
Democrats to pass real, comprehensive immigration reform.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this cruel, draconian 
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Gooden).
  Mr. GOODEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, none of us in this Chamber thought 
that we would have a President, even as a Democrat, that would let the 
country get this way. Strengthening our national security and 
prioritizing the well-being of the American people should be a 
bipartisan issue. This is the strongest border security bill to come to 
the House floor in decades, but my colleagues on the other side of the 
aisle refuse to support this commonsense legislation, instead using 
terms like cruel, horrible, and heartless Republicans. The American 
people won't fall for that. They don't fall for that.
  The Biden administration has created a humanitarian and security 
crisis unlike anything we have ever seen. They have outright refused to 
enforce the law, prioritizing the livelihoods of illegal aliens over 
American citizens. Drug cartels are running rampant. NGOs are handing 
out debit cards and bus tickets to migrants paid for with our taxpayer 
dollars. Human traffickers are targeting migrant children; it is 
heartless to do nothing about that and let the status quo continue.
  However, it gets worse tonight at midnight. When title 42 lifts 
tonight at midnight, we will see yet another migrant surge to add to 
the historic numbers this administration has already amassed.

[[Page H2270]]

  The Secure the Border Act strengthens protections for migrant 
children during a time when the Biden administration is losing over 
85,000 unaccompanied minor children due to foolish and reckless 
practices. This bill protects migrant children, American citizens, and 
American workers.
  H.R. 2 has my full support, and I urge my colleagues on the other 
side of the aisle to join the American people in our fight to secure 
our Nation.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Roy), one of the moving forces behind this bill.
  Mr. ROY. Mr. Speaker, we are here today because of the abject failure 
of the administration to do its fundamental duty to protect the United 
  We have a wide open border, empowering cartels, empowering China to 
the detriment of American citizens and to the migrants who seek to come 
here, supposedly in the name of compassion. However, that is in the 
false name of compassion.
  Dead migrants, lying along the Rio Grande and in ranches in south 
Texas. The extent to which migrants suffer in the Texas heat--53 dying 
in a tractor-trailer last summer in San Antonio; thousands being sold 
into the sex trafficking trade, being used as crass political pawns by 
a party devoid of anything substantive to take this country forward.
  Republicans are standing up strongly to make sure that this country 
will stand for the rule of law that sets our country apart around the 
globe and attracts so many to want to come here.
  Border Patrol right now apprehended over 10,000 migrants on Monday 
and 11,000 on Tuesday, the highest single-day totals ever recorded. 
There were 26,000 got-aways and 660,000 migrants waiting in Mexico. The 
President of Guatemala has confirmed 80,000 Venezuelan migrants are 
traveling to the U.S. ahead of title 42's expiration; 15,000 Venezuelan 
migrants crossed into Brownsville; Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said 
he estimates 60,000 to 65,000 migrants are in northern Mexico.
  I got a text from local law enforcement yesterday saying: We are 
almost at broken arrow. Every sector is near 150 percent capacity. DHS 
is calling for border agents from other northern and coastal sectors to 
help the southern border. The first 550 in a group of 1,500 
servicemembers from the Army and Marines were set to arrive. A shootout 
between the Mexican Army and human smugglers erupted at the Pharr-
Reynosa International Bridge. Schools in El Paso are adding more 
security. El Paso ran out of shelter. El Paso declared an emergency. 
Brownsville declared an emergency. Laredo declared an emergency. San 
Antonio is preparing; their migrant shelters are expressing concerns 
about being overwhelmed. Even our Nation's Capital is being 
overwhelmed. Now, the New York City mayor--a sanctuary city--
criticizing bussing, is bussing migrants outside of New York City out 
to the suburbs because my Democratic colleagues and the Democratic 
administration and Democratic leaders in so-called sanctuary cities 
don't give a whit about migrants. It is about political power, and they 
are costing lives. They are endangering Americans. They are causing 
children to die from fentanyl poisoning, and they know it. That is what 
is so pathetic and sad.
  Republicans offer legislation today that would force this 
administration to do the job it refuses to do, by ending the magnet, by 
stopping the releases, by forcing us to do the job we are supposed to 
do to protect unaccompanied children from being atop train cars, being 
subjected to the abuses of cartels, holding families together while we 
adjudicate claims of asylum, and, yes, providing for a path for asylum 
while making sure we don't create a magnet for the abuse of migrants in 
the false name of compassion.
  Republicans are leading. We are doing the job that the President 
refuses to do. The American people know it; they see it; and my 
Democratic colleagues are going to suffer the consequences for this 
abject failure.

                              {time}  1245

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I now yield 3 minutes to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Wasserman Schultz).
  Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding, and I rise in strong opposition to the child deportation act.
  This effort will rip apart families, dismantle due process, and 
expose children to abuse and trafficking.
  This bill goes further than simply demolishing legal pathways that 
the President has put in place. It strips back critical safeguards that 
protect the safety and well-being of unaccompanied minors.
  Instead of getting their day in court, this bill would imprison kids 
for up to 30 days. Instead of reunifying children with family who are 
here legally, this bill would deliver them to traffickers and other bad 
actors. Instead of providing care and counsel to children, this bill 
would weaken child welfare standards and reduce vetting of sponsors, 
leaving children vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
  This legislation makes a mockery of our Nation's values to appeal to 
our Nation's worst impulses.
  Mr. Speaker, this effort to block access to asylum will fuel criminal 
traffickers that extort desperate migrants.
  To make it all very simple, this bill will plunge our border into 
chaos, and that is exactly what my Republican colleagues want.
  They demonize immigrants, lock up kids, and defund border security 
just so they can blame Democrats for the crisis that they manufactured.
  Let me give you an example of the Homestead migrant children 
detention center that existed in Homestead, Florida, back in 2019, in 
the previous administration.
  This was a facility that warehoused unaccompanied minors. The 
conditions were so challenging and the kids crammed so tightly together 
under conditions where they were forced to literally have very little 
space between one another and be imprisoned, essentially, in this 
detention center that, eventually, it was forced to shut down.
  When President Biden took action to allow Venezuelan, Cuban, and 
Haitian migrants to apply for humanitarian parole, reducing border 
encounters from these countries by over 90 percent, Republican 
attorneys general filed a lawsuit to stop him.
  My Republican colleagues trumpet the need for oversight, but when I 
introduced legislation to prohibit child detention centers from 
refusing access to Members to conduct that oversight, deafening 
  They scold Democrats on enforcement yet promise to slash border 
funding to prepandemic levels, leaving border officers without vital 
resources to combat fentanyl and human trafficking.
  The only thing this bill will actually secure is the choke-hold grip 
that MAGA extremists have on the Republican Party.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to reject this legislation. It 
would brutally harm children for the sake of cheap political points.
  Our border should be governed by laws upholding our humanity, not by 
demagogues promoting bigotry.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Arizona (Mrs. Lesko).
  Mrs. LESKO. Mr. Speaker, I am from a border State, and I have been to 
the border multiple times. There is absolutely an invasion at our 
southern border.
  Even worse, title 42 ends today. Without title 42, the number of 
illegal immigrants at our southern border is expected to skyrocket.
  The Biden administration has no plan. In fact, I heard multiple times 
from my Democratic colleagues today how we should work together on a 
comprehensive plan. May I remind my Democratic colleagues that they 
were in total control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency for 
the last 2 years, and they did absolutely nothing.
  The Secure the Border Act is the solution. This bill disincentivizes 
illegal immigration, ends catch and release, builds the wall, and 
reinstates President Trump's successful remain in Mexico policy.
  Republicans want secure borders. Republicans want to protect our 
communities from deadly fentanyl. Republicans want to protect the 
innocent immigrant children from being sold into sex slavery, like is 
happening today.
  It is time to pass this legislation and secure the border now because 
President Biden won't.

[[Page H2271]]


  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Carter), the author of one of the other measures in this 
  Mr. CARTER of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 2, the 
Secure the Border Act.
  House Republicans are fulfilling the promises to restore safety and 
security at our borders, furthering the goals outlined in the House 
Republican Commitment to America.
  Included in this border package is my bill, the Protection of 
Children Act. We know that human traffickers, cartels, and coyotes 
exploit children in order to line their pockets and then abandon them 
at the border. These children are then subject to a very slow-moving 
bureaucratic system, all the while being separated from their families.
  My Protection of Children Act gives these children a choice and 
closes loopholes to end the exploitation of children.
  By returning these children to their own country quickly and safely, 
we prevent these children from experiencing the further trauma of 
detention and being released to potential strangers and a long, drawn-
out adjudication process.
  I thank Representative Biggs and Representative Nehls for 
cosponsoring my Protection of Children Act. I thank the House Homeland 
Security, Judiciary, and Foreign Affairs Committees for what they have 
done on this legislation.
  I would like to point out something. When I was the chairman of the 
Appropriations Committee's Homeland Security Subcommittee, I was in 
Laredo in 2014 at the bus station. There were 700 people waiting to go 
somewhere. They told me two people spoke Spanish or English. None of 
the children spoke Spanish or English. They were going to be released 
into this country once they left Laredo with no one to help them.
  We should make this thing right and do the right thing. I asked about 
the kids, and they said to send them back where they came from. That is 
how this bill got started.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Arizona (Mr. Biggs), one of the leaders in our Conference in 
confronting this crisis.
  Mr. BIGGS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his effort on this 
legislation. So many have worked hard on this.
  I have been listening to my colleagues across the aisle and all the 
gaslighting. I am reminded of the secondary output produced by many of 
the dairy cows in rural Arizona.
  While my colleagues across the aisle are ignoring this problem, right 
now, record numbers of people are coming across this border.
  Do you know what? In Matamoros, right there at the Rio Grande, you 
have the immigration authorities of Mexico coordinating with CBP on 
controlled crossings of the river.
  Why is that? Because title 42 has gone away today. It is going to go 
away tonight. The cartels control our border. We have had testimony. 
The Chief of CBP has said that.
  When I heard some of the stuff I heard here, I said that I wonder if 
any of them even know where the border is. Come on down to the border. 
I will show you what it is like.
  Do you know what CBP officials told local officials in Arizona about 
title 42? I am quoting here: ``You are screwed.''
  You won't do anything to solve the border problem. This bill solves 
much of the border problem. I get a kick out of someone here who just 
made a reference to how bad things were and how we didn't do anything.
  Yuma sector, 2020, apprehensions for the entire fiscal year were 
8,800. Do you know what it is today, this fiscal year? Over 350,000. Do 
you know what it was last year? Over 300,000.
  Why is that? Because what the CBP doesn't say, hey, let's do the 
Democrat plan. They say, can you at least let us enforce the law? This 
administration says no.
  Thus, we have a crisis on the border. It is more than a crisis. It is 
  In the Darien Gap in Panama, the numbers crossing, it is a 500 
percent increase. The number is between 700,000 to a million people 
just waiting, coming on up, waiting for title 42 to go away.
  Do you know what ``expedited removal'' means? It means expedited 
release into the country. It means community release.
  Why is that? Because of the weak asylum enforcement laws that we have 
today. When you come up, if we are taking you back to the border, we 
are going to get you across the border, and you say, ``I want asylum.'' 
It doesn't matter what your history is or anything. We are going to get 
you out of here and release you, community release.
  Community release means, right now, you are getting released. That is 
what is happening. Shame on you.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Issa), my colleague.
  Mr. ISSA. Mr. Speaker, when I received my current district in 
redistricting, I was pleased that it was a border district, all along 
the Mexican border from the Tijuana area all the way through the rest 
of the county.
  It isn't a border area today. There is no border. If there is no 
border with Mexico, then there is no border with America.
  Every day, people pass through. Some are found. Some are not found. 
Some are stopped for a period of time, but few are turned away. They 
are not turned away because we simply have a policy of letting everyone 
  I also represent a major agricultural district with ranching and 
farming, and guess what? With all those millions of people who this 
administration has deliberately allowed to come in without having been 
invited, without prescreening, without an application, we still have a 
shortage because of the policies of simply catch and release with 
  I will tell you what else my district is dealing with. We are dealing 
with enough fentanyl seized last year--117,000 pounds. If divided 
equally, it would kill every person in America in one dose.
  Just last week, the California Highway Patrol seized $21 million 
worth of fentanyl well into the United States on its way to L.A. That 
would be enough fentanyl to kill every San Diegan. That is what we are 
dealing with because we have no border.
  My Democrat friends, Mr. Speaker, will tell you about how it is not 
good, that it is not good enough, that we need to have comprehensive 
  Like you, Mr. Speaker, I have pushed for comprehensive reform, but 
comprehensive reform is not simply to normalize what is going on. 
Comprehensive reform has to be a balance of enforcement and fair 
immigration rules.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
New Jersey (Mr. Van Drew).

                              {time}  1300

  Mr. VAN DREW. I think we all know that we are a nation of immigrants, 
but we are also a nation of the rule of law. As President Reagan once 
said years ago, ``A nation that cannot control its borders is not a 
nation.'' We are very rapidly moving there.
  At this very moment, we don't have control of our southern border. 
Tens of thousands of migrants are marching, waiting, and illegally 
crossing our borders every day with tens of thousands more well on 
their way.
  We are witnessing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the history 
of our Nation. Migrants are dying from starvation, from disease, from 
lack of water. Women and children are being trafficked and they are 
being abused.
  Our administration knew this was coming, yet they have no plan.
  How irresponsible is that?
  With title 42 set to expire tonight and no concrete plan in place to 
handle this situation, we are facing a crisis of epic proportions. This 
crisis will result in communities suffering, migrants suffering, and 
our Nation suffering, but it isn't too late. It still isn't too late.
  We can secure our borders and we can protect our citizens. It will 
take leadership and a willingness to reject talking points and a 
willingness to do what is best for our Nation and for our people, and 
right now it is the House Republicans who are standing up and they are 
the ones making the effort.
  This bill restarts the border wall. It hires more CBP agents. It ends 
incentives to abuse unaccompanied minors.

[[Page H2272]]

It ends catch and release. It reinstates the remain in Mexico policy.
  We need action from our leaders, real leaders. We need action from 
our elected officials and actions from those who have the power to make 
a difference.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from California for bringing this 
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire as to the time remaining.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Valadao). The gentleman from California 
has 15 minutes remaining.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Wisconsin (Mr. Fitzgerald).
  Mr. FITZGERALD. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Jordan, Chairman Green, 
and Chairman McCaul for their leadership and contributions to the bill 
that we see before us today.
  Mr. Speaker, I will comment briefly on my experience and what I saw 
at the border at the invitation of members of the Judiciary Committee. 
I was able to kind of see, I think, two very diverse parts of the 
  First and foremost, in McAllen, Texas, where we spent a couple of 
days and had an opportunity not only to talk to border agents 
themselves, but also sat through a full presentation by Homeland 
Security, one of the things that struck me, and I think is very 
pertinent to what we are discussing today, is every time I asked a 
border agent or every time I spoke with someone from Homeland Security, 
I would say: What can we do as Members of Congress?
  There are a lot of times you go on these trips and there are tours, 
and you feel like when you are done, it is overwhelming, and you really 
want to know how we can have an impact.
  What made an impression on me was every person I spoke to said title 
42. I don't think you could find somebody, probably at the times when I 
was at the border, who could really describe what title 42 meant or 
what the impact would be.
  Guess what? Those agents knew. They knew what it meant. They knew it 
would be an unbelievable unleashing of many different factions of 
people that were immigrating for any number of reasons across the 
border, and they knew it was going to overwhelm them.
  As we stand here today and debate this bill, when you are watching it 
on TV right now, quite honestly, it is overwhelming. You can see the 
masses of people that are gathering.
  Mr. Speaker, I will, once again, thank Chairman Jordan, Chairman 
Green, and Chairman McCaul for putting all this together.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
South Carolina (Mr. Fry).
  Mr. FRY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support today of H.R. 2, the 
Secure the Border Act of 2023. For years, we have heard from this 
administration, we have heard from our colleagues across the aisle that 
we are imagining a border crisis. There is nothing to see. Everything 
is fine on our southern border.
  We are not imagining an increase in human trafficking. We are not 
imagining the dramatic escalation of fentanyl and fentanyl poisoning in 
our country. We are not imagining 5 million people who have entered 
this country illegally, the 1.2 million got-aways, or the nearly 100 
people that were on the terrorist watch list since this President took 
office. We are not imagining a border crisis.
  Cartels are making $13 billion a year off of smuggling people into 
this country. We are destabilizing an entire country because we are 
failing to act. This doesn't include what they are making off the drugs 
they smuggle either. This, quite simply, Mr. Speaker, is 
  While we are bankrolling the cartels, we are bankrupting our country. 
I visited the southern border, and I wish that more of my colleagues 
across the aisle would have done the same. Because when you go down 
there and you listen to farmers, ranchers, family members, hospital 
systems, people all over from every walk of life, they say the same 
thing when we asked them at our hearing: Is the border secure?
  The resounding answer from the entire crowd of several hundred was 
  Do you feel safe in your community?
  No again.
  We see this time and time again from this administration where they 
have failed to act and put our Nation in jeopardy. This crisis is a 
drain on law enforcement. It is a drain on hospitals. It is a drain on 
taxpayers and resources across the board.

  South Carolina is 2,000 miles away from the border, but we, like 
every single State, are a border State. We see the fentanyl in our 
communities. We see what is happening on the southern border. We see 
what is going on in our neighborhoods across this country. Our entire 
Nation is dealing with the effects of Joe Biden's border crisis.
  It is the Federal Government's primary responsibility to protect our 
Nation and secure our borders, but that is not happening.
  We must resume construction of the wall. We must hire more Border 
Patrol agents. We must end catch and release.
  Mr. Speaker, we must pass this bill.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. Bentz).
  Mr. BENTZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 2.
  This country must have an immigration system that works.
  If our Nation is going to compete with China, we have to have an 
immigration system that works.
  If our Nation is going to continue to feed the world, we need a 
system that works.
  If our Nation is going to continue to build its infrastructure, 
roads, buildings, and structures that our economy needs, we need an 
immigration system that works.
  If our Nation is going to take care of its elderly, sick and retired, 
we need a system that works.
  If our Nation is going to compete at the highest level of AI and 
computer chip manufacturing, we need an immigration system that works.
  If our Nation is to have an economy that is not starving for workers, 
we need an immigration system that works.
  Mr. Speaker, to have an immigration system that works, we have to 
have a border that works, and our border is broken.
  Hundreds of thousands of people coming across the border every day do 
not support an immigration system that works and does not reflect an 
immigration system that works.
  Mr. Speaker, we need to fix the border first and then we can fix our 
immigration system.
  This is the first step, the first absolutely essential and necessary 
step to provide a foundation for a comprehensive revision of our 
immigration system.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge support for H.R. 2, and I will be voting for it.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I am prepared to close, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Stanton).
  Mr. STANTON. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 2. I am deeply 
frustrated by the administration's failure to adequately prepare for 
the end of title 42, and my constituents in Arizona are, as well. They 
know that the administration could have and should have done more to 
prepare for this day. That is the simple truth.
  The bill before us today does nothing to make the border States like 
mine safer. It does not ensure an orderly and humane legal asylum 
process, and even makes it more difficult for refugees from countries 
like Cuba and Ukraine to seek asylum here.
  It does not stop the flow of deadly drugs like fentanyl into our 
communities. In fact, it diverts law enforcement resources from going 
after drug traffickers and smugglers.
  This bill demands much more from the Customs and Border Protection 
officers but does not provide the necessary funding for CBP to manage 
the surge of traffic, leaving our ports and our Nation more vulnerable 
and less secure.
  My colleagues on the other side of the aisle even want to eliminate 
Federal funding that faith-based and local aid groups depend on to 
shelter, feed, and clothe migrants. Without those shelters, there would 
be even more street releases by Border Patrol into communities like 
Phoenix and Tucson. That is inhumane.
  My amendment to strike that part of this bill, they wouldn't even 
give it a

[[Page H2273]]

vote. Make no mistake, if signed into law, H.R. 2 would hurt our 
economy, especially in my home State of Arizona.
  Every employer that I have met with in the district, from farmers, to 
contractors, to high-tech manufacturing companies, tells me that they 
can't find enough skilled workers. This bill does nothing to strengthen 
workforce pipelines. It actually makes hiring more difficult.
  All of these things, Mr. Speaker, show that this proposal is not a 
serious one. Instead of sabotaging an already broken immigration 
system, I invite my colleagues across the aisle to help us modernize 
  Commonsense reforms would help us rebuild our Nation's 
infrastructure, invest in domestic manufacturing, create jobs, improve 
trade with Mexico, and combat inflation.
  Now, my colleagues across the aisle say our first priority should be 
securing our southern border. I agree.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the 
gentleman from Arizona.
  Mr. STANTON. Mr. Speaker, the situation at our border is dire. There 
is no getting around it, and Congress and the administration must do 
  One of the things we can do to secure our border is to modernize the 
immigration system. These are not incompatible goals. Any serious 
proposal must do both.
  I am ready to work in good faith to find a path forward, and I will 
be at the table when my colleagues across the aisle are ready to do the 
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Garcia).
  Mr. GARCIA of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to 
H.R. 2, the child deportation act.
  I rise today because seeking asylum is a human right because we are a 
nation of immigrants.
  I migrated to the U.S. when I was 9, but the same pathways to 
citizenship that enabled me to become a citizen and become a Member of 
Congress no longer exist.
  Our immigration system has become more restrictive. Our border is 
more militarized. This Republican bill is the cruelest we have seen in 
a long time. It destroys asylum. It doubles down on detention. It puts 
kids in jail. It is a bill intended to rally the base by vilifying 
immigrants. It is straight out of the Tucker Carlson playbook.
  Migrants make the journey through rivers and jungles, in trucks and 
on trains. They make the journey out of desperation and out of fear.
  We need an immigration system rooted in compassion and opportunity, 
not like this bill.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire how much time I have 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman has 11\3/4\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Frost).
  Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I rise today because Republicans in this 
Chamber want to scream and shout about our broken immigration system 
while putting forth the most unserious, cruel bill that is effectively 
dead on arrival in the Senate and fixes absolutely nothing.
  This bill is a rerun of Donald Trump's biggest failures at inhumane 
border policies. This is the child deportation act because that is 
exactly what this does.
  It doesn't address any single issue at the border. It doesn't create 
pathways to citizenship for those legally attempting to receive asylum, 
which is a right in this country. It focuses on expediting child 
deportation and detaining unaccompanied minors, and even spending 
millions of your taxpayer dollars on a pointless border wall.
  Floridians back in my home State know that this is nothing less than 
hateful, unserious legislation, because we are watching Governor Ron 
DeSantis do the same thing: spending millions to detain and fly 
migrants for a political show while criminalizing vulnerable people and 
  The American people sent us here to work, and instead, GOP leadership 
offers them pointless bill after pointless bill that only proves how 
hateful rightwing policy has become.

                              {time}  1315

  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Soto).
  Mr. SOTO. Mr. Speaker, at 11:59 tonight, we will see the end of title 
42, and President Biden has been stepping up to meet the moment.
  We secured additional border security patrol officers in our omnibus. 
We have a new parole program to help out with countries like Venezuela, 
Cuba, Nicaragua, and Haiti, where we are seeing a lot of folks come to 
the border. We also see 1,500 troops going down there.
  In this moment, this body should be working together in a bipartisan 
fashion. We should be coming together with a supplemental to help with 
the funding that we need down there at the border, not a messaging 
bill, not a political points potshot bill at a time when the clock is 
ticking. This body could do so much more if we worked together.
  I have been down to the border, Mr. Speaker. We know what works: 
sensors and technology to help make sure we have border awareness 
across the southern border; having more Customs and Border Protection 
agents to be able to work on apprehensions; and getting civilians to do 
processing of asylum. We should be funding a bill that does those 
  Mr. Speaker, we don't have the southern border in Florida. We have 
ports, and we have had a lot of challenges with those ports. This bill 
doesn't do anything for our ports. It does nothing for the ports of 
entry, our front lines in the Sunshine State.
  We see Governor DeSantis, on the other hand, has a law coming in 
Florida that is going to attack hospitals. It is going to attack 
nonprofits. It is going to hurt agriculture. It is going to hurt 
construction at a time when we need to lower food prices and build more 
affordable housing. We are already seeing crops not being picked in the 
field as fear comes over the Sunshine State. Construction sites are 
  This isn't going to help immigration at all. What it will do is jack 
up inflation and food prices at a time when we need to work together.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I am ready to close, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, organizations, associations, and industry leaders from 
across the political spectrum oppose passage of H.R. 2, the child 
deportation act. They include among them the American Immigration 
Lawyers Association, Service Employees International Union, AFL-CIO, 
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Kids in Need of Defense, Unidos, 
and National Education Association.
  This bill is a microcosm of what we have seen in the first 4\1/2\ 
months of this new Republican majority, a chaotic majority that has no 
real interest in legislating or making positive change. Instead, they 
pass cruel and unworkable messaging bills that have no chance of 
becoming law and are dead in the U.S. Senate, and then they pat 
themselves on the back.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this draconian and 
unworkable bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, we know how to secure our borders and protect our 
country. We had done so under the Trump administration. The remain in 
Mexico policy slowed illegal immigration and phony asylum claims to a 
trickle. The border wall was nearing completion. ICE was actually 
enforcing court-ordered deportations.
  All of that changed when the Democrats seized control of our 
government and reversed all of these policies, and the result we can 
now see all around us. It is affecting our schools, hospitals, law 
enforcement, working families' wages, and social services that are now 
strained to the breaking point and soon beyond the breaking point.
  This bill simply restores those policies that worked and makes it 

[[Page H2274]]

difficult for a future President to refuse to faithfully execute the 
  I ask the American people to watch the catastrophe that is unfolding 
right now on our collapsing southern border. What we are seeing is 
something historic. It is a mass, illegal migration on a scale the 
world has never seen and that no civilization has ever survived.
  At this hour, history is screaming this warning at us that countries 
that cannot or will not protect their borders simply aren't around very 
  Without enforcing our immigration laws, we have no immigration laws. 
Without immigration laws, we have no borders. Without borders, we have 
no country.
  Let that not be the epitaph of the American Republic, what Lincoln 
called ``the last best hope'' of mankind on this Earth.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Texas (Mr. McCaul) and 
the gentleman from New York (Mr. Meeks) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. McCaul).
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, in my 20 years in Congress, including when I was 
chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, and as a former Federal 
prosecutor tasked with securing our border in Texas, I have never seen 
our border this chaotic, this broken. What we are witnessing today is 
  Right now, as I speak, there is a tidal wave of migrants marching 
across our southern border. Just yesterday, CBP apprehended over 10,000 
migrants--10,000 in a single day. This is the largest human trafficking 
crisis I have ever witnessed in my lifetime, and it is time for 
Congress to act and restore control to this uncontrolled border.
  While the administration and DHS Secretary Mayorkas have assured us 
``the border is closed'' and that they have operational control of the 
border, just last month, Border Patrol Chief Ortiz testified that DHS 
does not have operational control of the border because the drug 
cartels have operational control of the border.
  I know that. I have been down there. I have seen this movie before, 
but this is the worst movie I have seen.
  It didn't have to happen. It was a self-inflicted wound. That is 
because, on day one, the Biden administration rescinded the Migrant 
Protection Protocols, otherwise known as remain in Mexico.
  In my many meetings with Border Patrol agents down on the border, 
they tell me very bluntly that the rescission of these policies by 
President Biden on his very first day in office has had a direct cause 
and effect on the chaos at the border.
  This policy was working under the last administration. Illegal 
immigration was dramatically declining. However, since President Biden 
took office in January 2021, we are witnessing a massive increase in 
illegal immigrant encounters and apprehensions at our southern border--
5 million of them. The numbers don't lie.
  Since President Biden took office, I repeat, there have been over 5 
million migrant encounters, with at least 1.4 million known get-aways.
  What is going to happen to these people? They have no legal status. 
They live in the shadows. The young girls are sex trafficked, and the 
young boys and men, their home will be MS-13.
  Worse, more than 100,000 Americans have died from fentanyl flowing 
across the border, going from China to Mexico and across my State of 
Texas. That is nearly double the number of deaths in the entire Vietnam 
war over two decades.
  Mr. Speaker, 853 migrants and counting have died trying to make the 
dangerous journey across the border just last year alone. This is the 
most recorded in history.
  Thirty-five percent of women and children are raped and sexually 
abused throughout their journey at the hands of the brutal cartels.
  What happens when they get here? We know that Mayorkas lifted the 
restriction so that sponsors of these children do not have to be 
vetted. What are we seeing?
  We are seeing 10, 20, 30 children being sent to the same house, to 
their sponsors who have not been vetted.
  This turns into a major trafficking problem right here inside the 
United States. When the cartels say, ``You still need to pay us more 
money. You need to run more drugs. You need to prostitute yourself,'' 
we are creating a criminal network right now inside the United States 
of America.
  It is only going to get worse, particularly when title 42 is lifted 
today, the very day we are going to pass this bill.
  From my point of view, as a former chairman of the Homeland Security 
Committee, 98 suspected terrorists attempted to enter the homeland last 
year. When I chaired the Homeland Security Committee, I always asked 
the question: How many special interest aliens, how many on the terror 
watch list, have tried to get in? How many have gotten in? That is just 
who we know about.
  Think about the threat, the national security threat to the homeland, 
particularly after the collapse of Afghanistan and the rise of 
terrorism overseas.
  I would argue that President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas are 
complicit in this crisis. The Federal Government's job is to secure 
borders--air, land, and sea. Unfortunately, this administration has 
failed to do so. They have abdicated their solemn duty to protect the 
homeland, to protect the American people, to protect these children.
  One rescission, one stroke of the pen rescinding the remain in Mexico 
policy, created this chaos at the border. Don't take my word for it. 
Take the Chief of Border Patrol's word for it. Take the countless 
Border Patrol officers and agents I have talked to down on the border.
  That is why I introduced this legislation, to compel the 
administration to solve this crisis once and for all. Congress is doing 
what the Biden administration has failed to do for the last 2\1/2\ 
years to fix our broken borders.
  Our first priority must be to stem the massive flow of illegal aliens 
by reinstating and codifying the Migrant Protection Protocols known as 
remain in Mexico because it worked.
  In my State, we have a saying: If it is not broken, don't fix it. It 
wasn't broken. It was working. They rescinded it, and now we have this 
  This legislation will also direct the State Department to renegotiate 
asylum cooperation agreements. These agreements prohibit migrants who 
travel throughout any countries with asylum agreements from eligibility 
for asylum in the United States.
  Asylum is the magnet. It is the pull factor that is being abused by 
the cartels to make money off these children, women, and migrants.

                              {time}  1330

  This policy was very effective, and it worked under the prior 
administration. Reinstating it is a proven solution to reduce the 
chaos, the crisis.
  By directing the Secretary of State to reauthorize and codify MPP and 
the ACAs, this bill bolsters the work being done on asylum reform and 
border security in both the House Judiciary Committee and the House 
Homeland Security Committee.
  Finally, I would say this should not be a partisan issue. When I 
chaired the Homeland Security Committee, Ranking Member Thompson and I 
worked on many border security bills that were bipartisan. Many passed 
unanimously out of our committee. Yet, here we are on this partisan 
  I think the American people deserve better than partisanship. They 
deserve solutions.
  In my State, we witness this every day. Ranchers see dead bodies on 
their property and the drugs flowing in.
  Secretary Mayorkas asked for a bill. Here it is. It is time that we 
reinstate the policies that have a proven track record of success.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to H.R. 2. Title III 
of this bill happens to fall under the House Foreign Affairs 
Committee's jurisdiction.
  There is undoubtedly a need to fix our broken immigration system. I 
think that we can all agree. It is undoubtedly correct that Congress 
needs to get involved in that. What Congress is not doing is talking 
about coming together for comprehensive immigration reform. If we want 
to get at the

[[Page H2275]]

heart of how to improve, in a humane way, and protect our borders, we 
would be locked together to talk about comprehensive immigration reform 
that will keep us true to who we are and our values.
  Sometimes when I am listening to this debate and some of the policies 
that are here, I am saying: Who are we? Who are we as a people, as a 
nation? Do we practice what we preach, or do we say to others: Do what 
we say, not what we do?
  American values are important here. Title III seeks to codify and 
reinstate the Trump administration's failed Migrant Protection 
Protocols, known as MPP, and remain in Mexico policy. This is a 
disturbing and ineffective policy that returned asylum seekers at the 
border of Mexico and only allowed them to enter the United States for 
their court proceedings. Listening to my colleague: Return them to 
Mexico. That is it.
  Because there are thousands of backlogged cases and too few judges to 
effectively handle them, those that we return to Mexico, these asylum 
seekers, are forced to live in Mexican border towns for long periods of 
time. As a result of that, the exact same thing that my colleague 
talked about, these border towns in Mexico are the ones that are 
dangerous. They are the reason why people are raped. That is where the 
violence and the crime is. They do not have, these towns in Mexico, the 
capacity to safely house the thousands of people fleeing their 
countries of origin.
  We know that migrants face violence of all kinds, including murder, 
rape, trafficking, and kidnapping as they await their court appearance, 
the very things that we do agree is happening to these individuals, but 
we put blinders on. Just send them back. That will solve the problem of 
them living in tent encampments without adequate access to the basics. 
Just send them back to Mexico. Let them stay there with no clean water, 
no sanitation, no shelter, and no health services. Send them back. We 
don't care.
  The MPP puts tens of thousands of migrants in greater danger, 
including families with children who we are supposed to care about. It 
also puts America at odds with our regional partners in ways that were 
and still are a detriment to our national security and our global 
  Like Mr. McCaul, I have been here for 25 years. I have many families 
in my district who come to me all of the time with humanitarian 
concerns, asking for us to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
  While nations like Colombia and Peru took in millions of Venezuelans 
crossing their border in desperate need of safety, America, the United 
States of America, the most resourced Nation on Earth, a Nation of 
immigrants, turn our backs on asylum seekers and our very own values in 
the name of deterrence. Turn our backs. We don't care. Send them back.
  As CARICOM continues to work in a regional and multilateral way to 
find solutions to help Haiti, our neighbor in crisis, this body debates 
unilateral action that fails to see the collective challenge facing 
this hemisphere.
  This bill is more than just shortsighted; it is cruel and harmful to 
our interests. We should be embarrassed, absolutely embarrassed, that 
Colombia's migration agency had suspended a program meant to return 
Colombian nationals found at the U.S. border with Mexico due to ``cruel 
and degrading treatment.'' Come on now.
  We are facing a regional and global migration crisis. We have strong 
and divergent opinions about improving an imperfect immigration process 
and how to address the recent surge in migration since the pandemic. 
But Title III of this bill seeks to codify and reinitiate failed 
processes from the last administration that do not solve the real-life 
challenges regarding the movement of people, those people fleeing from 
instability and violence and lack of economic opportunity and education 
in their home countries.
  Why? Because, apparently, we don't care. We don't care. Send them 
back. Who cares what happens to them? Send them back. We don't have 
comprehensive immigration reform to make sure that we are working and 
fixing the system because that is what we should be working on.
  This isn't the first surge of migrants on our border, and it won't be 
the last, particularly as climate change will further limit resources 
and displace people across the region. To solve complex 
multicountry challenges, we must invest in multilateral solutions. When 
we invest in multilateral solutions, as we do in other parts of the 
world, that is how we win--not America alone, America by ourselves. 
That is not leadership. No one follows you if you are just by yourself, 
not working with others and not working with our allies.

  The Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection from the 
Summit of the Americas in 2022 included proposals for collaborative 
problem solving on this issue with leaders across the region to address 
the root causes of forced displacement and irregular migration.
  Working with our allies, as we are doing in other parts of the world, 
as we are doing with our NATO allies, as we are doing with our EU 
allies, as we are doing with our Indo-Pacific allies, we should be 
doing the same thing with our Western Hemisphere allies.
  Why? Because our strength is not rooted in the sticks that we use to 
coerce outcomes. It is in the depth of our relationships and 
collaboration across the region to address the root causes of forced 
displacement and a regular migration, including by combating corruption 
and impunity, upholding our obligations to protect refugees, and 
partnering to promote opportunity and prosperity for people and 
communities, especially those most vulnerable across the region.
  When I get on my knees at night and pray, when I am in church and 
pray, I pray for the poor and for those who cannot care for themselves. 
When I read books that I believe in, they talk about taking care of the 
poor, taking care of those who can't take care of themselves.
  When I eat my dinner, my lunch, or my breakfast and I pray, I say: 
Bless those who are hungry and have no food. Bless those who may have 
food and no appetite. Bless those who have less than me.
  We are the richest country in the world. Let's work toward resolving 
the root causes.
  This bill doesn't address the migration crisis. It only creates 
further chaos by shutting the door on mechanisms that reunite families. 
That is what I believe. That is what I pray. That is what I think 
mankind is all about or should be all about, keeping people safe from 
perilous journeys to our borders. These attempts to sow seeds of fear 
and distrust about migrants are as counterproductive as they are 
  Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, the broader bill undermines Congress' 
bipartisan work to grant humanitarian parole to hundreds of thousands 
of Afghans. We have been working together on that, and we should be 
working together to help those who are trying to cross the border from 
our Western Hemisphere allies. But this also prevents and goes against 
thousands of Afghans, Ukrainians, and others, by restricting DHS parole 
  If we are truly interested in a constructive agenda that is aimed at 
providing viable and durable solutions to migration challenges, I stand 
ready. Democrats stand ready to collaborate on addressing the root 
causes of migration through congressional action, through working on 
comprehensive immigration reform to try to make sure that we lead by 
example and we live true to our values, that we become the shining 
example for others in other countries who are looking at us to see how 
we react to it.
  We should do that by showing in a bipartisan way we are ready for 
comprehensive immigration reform. We will do it in a bipartisan way. We 
will do it so that we can also maintain our values and who we are--at 
least who we say we are--as a nation.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1345

  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I will state for the record that we put in 
this bill a provision specifically for those paroled in the United 
States from Afghanistan so that this would not affect their legal 
status and that they can stay here in the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. 
Bost), the chairman of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
  Mr. BOST. Mr. Speaker, just last month, I went to the Del Rio sector 

[[Page H2276]]

the U.S.-Mexican border to visit with our dedicated Border Patrol 
agents. Over 15,000 frontline Border Patrol agents are veterans serving 
their country and communities again, working to keep America safe.
  However, our Commander in Chief has failed to give them the resources 
and structure they need to effectively do their jobs.
  They are pulling drowning children out of the river. They are finding 
bodies left behind that were being smuggled across and thrown into the 
  Mr. Speaker, these agents are fighting a new battle back at home, as 
well. The mental strain on them as a result of President Biden's open 
border policies cannot be ignored, so much so that the VA actually had 
to deploy a mobile veteran center to the border to offer mental health 
services to our veterans and even our non-veteran border agents who are 
  Mr. Speaker, I heard it firsthand from the brave men and women that 
need this bill. Securing our borders shouldn't be a Republican or a 
Democratic issue. The people who suffer the most when we make doing so 
hyperpolitical are the veteran law enforcement officers who are simply 
trying to do their jobs. That is a disservice to them.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this commonsense bill. 
It is vitally important. I have looked them in the eye, and I would 
advise anyone on the other side of the aisle or on my side of the aisle 
that has not went down and looked them in the eye, you will know what 
they are suffering through because we are not doing our job and the 
administration is not doing theirs.
  Mr. Speaker, that is why I encourage the support of this bill.
  Mr. MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Kamlager-Dove), an esteemed member of the Committee on 
Foreign Affairs.
  Ms. KAMLAGER-DOVE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to strongly oppose H.R. 
2, House Republicans' child deportation act.
  Yes, our immigration system is broken, but instead of productive, 
bipartisan legislation that would work to fix it, Republicans want to 
double down on immoral, cruel, and inhumane Trump-era policies that 
hurt children and families and stoke fear and greater division.
  With title 42 set to expire today, we should take this opportunity as 
a chance to address the humanitarian crisis at our border by focusing 
on solutions that alleviate pressures at our border and fundamentally 
change the dysfunction and chaos that is happening.
  Instead, this bill would make our immigration crisis that much worse. 
H.R. 2 would require expedited deportations and expanded detention for 
unaccompanied children; impose new restrictions on asylum while 
threatening to end the asylum system as we know it; detain even more 
migrant families in facilities with poor and unacceptable conditions; 
resume President Trump's failed policy of building a border wall; and 
so much more.
  Mr. Speaker, I hope the American people heard some of the statements 
made by my Republican colleagues when this bill was heard in committee.
  Republicans dog whistle, fearmonger, lie, and resort to conspiracy 
theories about our border to hide the fact that they have no real 
solutions to this growing crisis. Harmful policies meant to exacerbate 
confusion, waste more money, and hurt people fleeing dangerous 
situations are not the answer. Many are fleeing war zones; areas of 
conflict; countries that employ torture, violence, rape, and ethnic 
cleansing as tactics of control.
  What are we proposing to do with H.R. 2? Be a cruel neighbor and 
throw them back into harm's way while telling Mexico to shoulder much 
of this burden.
  America is supposed to be a nation of immigrants. We are supposed to 
have compassion for those seeking asylum. Republican policies like H.R. 
2 run counter to those very fundamental values.
  Unlike some of my GOP colleagues, I do not for a second believe that 
immigrants from Mexico are a threat to us. If anything, the threats we 
face are homegrown. They take the form of xenophobic, transphobic, and 
hateful individuals who twist the meaning of the Constitution to fit 
their own political agendas.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 30 seconds to the 
gentlewoman from California.
  Ms. KAMLAGER-DOVE. Mr. Speaker, as for the drug myth, over 80 percent 
of drugs smuggled into our country are done by Americans, not 
  Let's get serious and talk about meaningful steps toward immigration 
reform that include what it means to be a global partner in this space, 
not this wildly inappropriate and ineffective bill.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Missouri (Mrs. Wagner), the vice chair of the Committee on Foreign 
Affairs and the chair of the Committee on Financial Services' 
Subcommittee on Capital Markets.
  Mrs. WAGNER. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman McCaul for yielding, and I 
thank him for his leadership.
  Mr. Speaker, in just 2 years, over 5 million illegal migrants have 
crossed our southern border, in addition to over 1 million known got-
aways. That is equal to the entire population of my home State of 

  Among other malfeasance, it is undeniable that the Biden 
administration has created an appalling humanitarian crisis in the 
United States. I want to talk about what often goes unspoken and 
unseen: the trafficking and exploitation of children.
  In February, The New York Times exposed that the Biden administration 
had lost 85,000 unaccompanied children released into the U.S. by the 
Department of Health and Human Services. These children were forced to 
work in dangerous conditions to pay off debts to their smugglers and 
cartels and, even more horrifically, their HHS-designated sponsors.
  Despite child welfare agencies sounding the alarms on trafficking and 
labor exploitation, the Biden administration continued to facilitate 
this abuse. In fact, HHS Secretary Becerra reportedly threatened to 
fire his subordinates if they refused to accelerate these cruel and 
dangerous releases, showing no regard for the children's safety.
  H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act, addresses this catastrophe head-
on, and it ensures that this can never happen again.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation.
  Mr. MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from North 
Carolina (Mr. Davis).
  Mr. DAVIS of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I rise to express concern 
with H.R. 2, legislation that would place at risk United States 
  H.R. 2, with the E-Verify provision in particular, does not address 
the workforce crisis and could cause a $60 billion drop in production, 
resulting in a 5 to 6 percent increase in prices at the grocery store 
when many families across America are still struggling to make it from 
week to week.
  We must develop real solutions to the labor crisis facing our 
farmers, ranchers, and growers. During a tour at Warren Farms, and 
speaking with farmers across eastern North Carolina, this is what they 
are telling me: Enough is enough. People are fed up with divided D.C. 
  Our government must get out of the way of hardworking people. We 
should take H.R. 2, as drafted, off the table so our farmers can 
continue putting food on the table for households across this great 
  Congress' inaction to address the labor crisis will result in farmers 
losing their livelihoods.
  I am here. I am right here to work with anyone who wants to make life 
better for eastern North Carolina, rural America, and the American 
people. We can secure the border. However, we cannot secure the border 
while creating so much insecurity for our farm families.
  Mr. Speaker, I am standing with American farmers.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Burchett), a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
  Mr. BURCHETT. Mr. Speaker, Americans are sick and tired of seeing the 
Biden administration spend millions of their taxpayer dollars to fund 
and enable an invasion of our southern border.

[[Page H2277]]

  This administration is using nongovernmental organizations, NGOs, to 
push illegal immigrants all over the country. A report by The Heritage 
Foundation found that these illegal aliens were shipped to 431 out of 
435 congressional districts. This report also shows the overwhelming 
number of resettled illegal immigrants were sent to, oddly enough, 
Republican districts. This is a massive resettlement program, Mr. 
  Under President Biden, the number of illegal immigrants entering the 
U.S. exceeds the population of some U.S. States.
  We have had over 5 million illegal crossings plus over 1.3 million 
  Title 42 ends tonight, as we all know, and the flood will get worse. 
We have seen the pictures, Mr. Speaker. We have no idea who these 
people are, where they are going, or what they will do. The situation 
will take a huge toll on our Nation and touch every community in every 
  We have caught people in the past that have been on the terrorist 
watch list. We have Communist Chinese coming over our border. We don't 
know what they are up to, as well.
  Mr. Speaker, we owe it to the American people to finish the wall, end 
catch-and-release policies, and close the asylum loopholes that are big 
enough for a caravan to walk through.
  President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas have dug a big hole for the 
American people. If we want to save this country, we need extreme 
border security measures to stop this open invasion now.
  Mr. MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Texas 
(Mr. Castro), the ranking member on the Western Hemisphere 
  Mr. CASTRO of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 2, 
which should be known as the child deportation act.
  Last year, my family marked 100 years since my grandmother, Victoria 
Castro, came to the United States as a young orphan in the wake of the 
Mexican Revolution. On her paperwork, the San Antonio relatives who 
took her in wrote that she was coming ``to live,'' to live in the 
United States.
  From the discussions on the floor today, it seems that many of my 
colleagues have forgotten about the lives of the asylum seekers who 
will be affected by their legislation.
  Under this bill, for example, if a Uyghur Muslim family escapes from 
one of China's concentration camps in Xinjiang and seeks asylum in the 
United States by way of Mexico, they will be turned away.
  If a group of Cuban dissidents sail to Florida and land outside of a 
port of entry, they will be turned away.
  Ukrainian families fleeing from Putin's state-sponsored kidnapping, 
Catholics fleeing religious persecution in Nicaragua, and Christians in 
Iran would all be required to remain in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, or 
El Salvador at the mercy of cartels and violent gangs.

                              {time}  1400

  Under the Trump-era remain-in-Mexico policy, human rights observers 
recorded thousands of violent attacks against migrants, including 
kidnapping, rape, and other brutal crimes.
  That policy, as cruel as it was, included exemptions for 
unaccompanied minors and people who don't speak Spanish. This bill 
includes neither of those exemptions.
  H.R. 2 would also end humanitarian parole for tens of thousands of 
Afghan evacuees who fought side by side with our troops for over 20 
years of war. These heroes and their families barely escaped from the 
Taliban last summer, and less than 1 year later, Republicans are trying 
to send our Afghan allies back to die.
  Many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle have expressed 
concerns about how the current immigration system will be able to 
handle a rising tide of immigrants post title 42. I agree that we need 
to build a more resilient, more effective, and more efficient system, 
but this bill is not the way to do that.
  Time and again, we have seen that cruel, restrictive policies like 
those in this bill do not stop desperate people from fleeing 
persecution, oppression, and violence.
  This bill would send the world's most vulnerable people to places 
where many Americans won't even drink the water. It would force asylum 
seekers to take dangerous, irregular paths to the United States, which 
is the exact kind of journey that led to the deaths of 53 people in the 
back of a sweltering tractor-trailer in my hometown of San Antonio last 
  There are meaningful bipartisan solutions to address the causes of 
forced migration to the United States. I have been proud to work across 
the aisle to introduce several bills that would do that, but this is 
not the answer.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Alford). The time of the gentleman has 
  Mr. MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 1 minute to the 
  Mr. CASTRO of Texas. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, H.R. 2 does not 
include any serious attempt to address the root causes of immigration, 
and it will not make any real progress to fix our Nation's broken 
immigration system.
  Mr. Speaker, for that reason and many others, I urge my colleagues to 
vote ``no.''
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from California (Mr. McCarthy).
  Mr. McCARTHY. Mr. Speaker in a few moments, House Republicans will 
pass the strongest border security bill this country has ever seen.
  Meanwhile, we are seeing a very different record from President Biden 
who has only been to the border one time in 50 years. We all know what 
it is. We have seen it every day for over 2 years--especially now that 
title 42 is expiring--record crossings, record carelessness, and record 
  Mr. Speaker, what have the House Democrats done?
  What have they done to secure the border and fix the border crisis?
  I checked, and frankly, it is nothing.
  To start, House Democrats skipped congressional hearings at the 
border--not just one committee hearing--every single one of them. They 
skipped when the Judiciary Committee went and when the Homeland 
Security Committee went.
  They spent the last 2 years voting by proxy, but when it came to 
securing the border, they chose to stay in Washington. They treat the 
border like President Biden does: Ignore it and hope the problem goes 
  I just don't understand why the Democrats wouldn't even show up for 
  Mr. Speaker, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee for the 
Democrats skipped a fentanyl-related hearing because it was, in his 
words, performative.
  Mr. Speaker, I guarantee you that the families who have lost loved 
ones to fentanyl don't think it is performative. They understand it is 
real. They lost a loved one.
  The story is just as bad when you look at the previous Congress. For 
2 years, the do-nothing inflation Democrats refused to face the music, 
even as the evidence piled up and the American people cried out.
  What is worse, they lashed out at anyone who tried to fix the 
  Mr. Speaker, 2 years ago, I warned the American people about what 
Border Patrol agents told me, they were catching individuals on the 
terrorist watch list.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield an additional 1 minute to the 
gentleman from California.
  Mr. McCARTHY. Were the Democrats concerned when we gave them that 
  One Democrat who served on the Armed Services Committee who 
represents a border State called me a liar.
  Since then, more than 175 people on the terrorist watch list have 
been caught crossing the border.
  In fact, just in February, we caught more people on the terrorist 
watch list in 1 month than we caught in the entire 4 years of the last 
  Mr. Speaker, thank God the Republicans are in charge today. Thank God 
that they are willing to do something instead of ignoring the problem, 
and for bringing the solution. I think when you run for office, you 
should show up for work. I think when you have a committee hearing 
along the border to

[[Page H2278]]

learn the facts, stop playing politics and work for the American 
  Mr. MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Ohio 
(Mr. Davidson), a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
  Mr. DAVIDSON. Mr. Speaker, Joe Biden's border crisis has become a 
nationwide crime scene. Cartels not only control the illegal drug 
market, they control our border. They are poisoning our country and 
exploiting every migrant who crosses our southern border. This 
sad crisis must end.

  In my district, we had the tragic story of Lizzy Murphy who died from 
fentanyl poisoning at the age of 21. As in many cases, Lizzy was 
poisoned by just one pill, a Xanax laced with deadly fentanyl.
  Though overdoses are also on the rise, many of these fatalities occur 
from just one lethal dose of fentanyl.
  Just this week, we recognized National Fentanyl Awareness Day. The 
CDC has reported that two-thirds of drug-related deaths involve 
fentanyl. Drug fatalities are now the leading cause of death for 18- to 
  Today, the House will vote to pass H.R. 2. Next, Joe Biden and Senate 
Democrats must change course from their deadly policies. They must pass 
this bill, sign it into law, and implement it.
  We need to secure our border, stop the cartels, and keep our 
communities safe. That is why I am supporting H.R. 2.
  However, this legislation should have gone a little further to stop 
the evil work of cartels. As an amendment, I offered the Lizzy Murphy 
Act to stop the cartels, a bill that I have previously introduced. This 
bill designates certain cartels as special transnational criminal 
organizations and implements sanctions on them and anyone who provides 
material support to cartels.
  We must recognize that cartels are enemies of our country and treat 
them that way. To disrupt their trafficking operations, we must detain 
or turn away all who enter our country illegally.
  By forcing the Biden administration to resume construction of the 
wall, increase Border Patrol agents, protect unaccompanied children who 
are at risk of trafficking, and end their foolish catch-and-release 
practices, the Secure the Border Act of 2023 will begin to fix this 
  Mr. Speaker, I urge everyone to support it.
  Mr. MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Self), a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
  Mr. SELF. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for yielding me time.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act 
of 2023, because it does just that. It secures the border.
  I find the comments from across the aisle rich from the very Members 
of the party who caused the situation that our citizens are seeing on 
the border today.
  The year before the Biden administration took control of the border, 
CBP reported roughly 400,000 illegal border crossings. During President 
Biden's first year in office, that number skyrocketed to 1.7 million. 
Last year, it rose to 2.8 million. I am not sure whether that is 
arithmetic or logarithmic, but it is huge.
  Unlike many in this Chamber, I have visited multiple locations across 
the Texas border with Mexico. I saw four unaccompanied boys 8 to 10 
years old.
  What was going to happen to them?
  I saw rafts making multiple trips underneath the very vision of a 
Border Patrol location. People were helping the illegal immigrants out 
of the rafts and up the little cliff that we had there to include a 1-
month-old baby who had been born in Mexico.
  I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, from being on the ground in south Texas 
that there is no coordinated effort to stop the flow of illegal opioids 
like fentanyl that kills nearly 300 Americans every day. There is no 
coordinated effort to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, many of whom 
are being trafficked as sex slaves or cheap labor.
  Human trafficking has now surpassed drug trafficking as the profit 
center for the cartels. We have indentured servanthood in this Nation 
today--slavery by any other name.
  Earlier this year, I introduced the EL CHAPO Act which allows us to 
use the billions of dollars' worth of assets seized from cartel members 
like El Chapo to build the wall. Our southern border is an unmitigated 
disaster, and without this bill, the ensuing chaos is going to get 
  Mr. Speaker, I implore Members to support H.R. 2.
  Mr. MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire how much time is remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Texas has 8 minutes 
remaining. The gentleman from New York has 7\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Meuser).
  Mr. MEUSER. Mr. Speaker, I thank my good friend from Texas, who is 
the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
  Mr. Speaker, anyone who is even slightly informed understands how 
dire the immigration crisis is at our southern border.
  Mr. Speaker, if you go to the border, as I have a few times, Customs 
and Border Protection, the National Guard, and local and State 
officials all say the same thing: the situation is out of control, our 
border is not secure, and it is a human disaster.
  Cartels and traffickers inform vulnerable people that it is seamless 
to enter the United States illegally, putting people in terrible harm's 
  Mr. Speaker, one-third of women are being raped, according to 
reports. Hundreds are dying, perhaps thousands, and tons of fentanyl is 
coming across, killing 300 mostly young Americans a day.
  So what do we do?
  We have a solution. It is called H.R. 2.
  Mr. Speaker, it is really simple. A ``yes'' for H.R. 2 is for solving 
the border crisis, and a ``no'' is for the status quo.
  Mr. MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. 
Let me just say a few things. My friends on the other side of the aisle 
talk about this bill being inhumane.

  Is it humane under this administration to stuff 40 migrants in an 18-
wheeler to die from heat and suffocation in my home State of Texas?
  Is it humane for the cartels to rape and traffic little girls?
  Is it humane to kill 100,000 young people in this country from the 
poison of fentanyl?
  Is it humane, Mr. Speaker, to send children to stash houses in the 
United States to become sex slaves and child labor slaves that even 
Child Protective Services would find criminal?
  That is what this administration has done.
  Susan Rice, our domestic policy adviser, is quoted in The New York 
Times as saying that she ``vented in a note she scribbled on a memo 
detailing the position of advocates, who believed a pandemic-era border 
closure was compelling parents to send unaccompanied children, 
sometimes called UCs.''
  In other words, what was happening because of the change of policy by 
the Biden administration was that parents were compelled to send their 
children by themselves in the hands of the cartels, the traffickers, 
and the human smugglers.

                              {time}  1415

  What did Ms. Susan Rice, Mr. Biden's domestic policy adviser, say? 
``This is BS,'' she wrote, according to a copy of the memo reviewed by 
the Times. She says: ``What is leading to `voluntary' separation of 
children is our generosity to these [unaccompanied minors].''
  Wow. This administration, they know exactly what they are doing. They 
know what this policy has done. They know the results and the 
consequences of rescinding the MPP program, which is called inhumane. 
By the way, all it says is, you cannot enter the United States; you 
have to remain in Mexico pending your asylum claim.
  You know why? Once you enter the United States, it is catch and 
release all over again. The very first bill I introduced 20 years ago 
in Congress was to end catch and release, and here we are so many years 
later, and we are right back to it.

[[Page H2279]]

  The sad thing is, we had this thing under control with the 
construction of physical barriers and technology. Personally, I think 
it is very, very sad. Recent news reports show that in a single week 
there were almost 55,000 apprehensions by Border Patrol and more than 
18,600 got-aways. Those are some of the highest totals on record.
  Make no mistake, the termination of title 42 is well known among 
migrants. It is well known to the drug traffickers and the cartels, who 
make money off this racket. They are waiting for this policy to end to 
cross the border en masse. We see caravans right now, south, coming up 
toward my home State. It is clear the administration is not prepared 
and that this crisis will only get worse and devolve into chaos. As a 
result, the number of crossings, already at historic levels, will 
  Mr. Speaker, this is unsustainable. We are facing a humanitarian 
crisis of generational proportions. It only benefits the cartels. I 
know this game too well. I was a Federal prosecutor on the other side 
prosecuting them. They know exactly what they are doing. They exploit, 
they terrorize, and they make a ton of money off exploiting human 
beings. It has cost countless lives.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Washington (Mr. Newhouse).
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, just to reiterate what we have heard 
today: House Republicans know that border security is national 
security, which is why tackling this crisis truly is crucial to 
fulfilling our promise to the American people and to deliver them a 
nation that is safe.
  Since President Biden took office, there have been over 5 million 
illegal crossings over our southern border, and more than 1.3 million 
people have evaded apprehension. At the same time, Mr. Speaker, 
fentanyl is pouring over our southwest border and into my communities, 
into your communities, killing Americans at catastrophic rates.
  On May 11, title 42 is set to expire, which is only going to 
exacerbate the current border crisis. The President and our Democratic 
colleagues have offered no long-term solution. While H.R. 2 does much 
to strengthen the border, it also fails to address an issue critical to 
our Nation's farmers--reliable access to agricultural workers.
  We need essential reform to our immigration, asylum, and workforce 
laws, issues that I and many others have been working on relentlessly 
since being here in Congress. The United States is blessed with fertile 
lands and a climate conducive to agricultural productivity. However, 
without an adequate workforce, our farmers and our ranchers struggle to 
harvest and tend to their crops. This poses a direct threat to our 
Nation's food security, our national security, and our economic 
  Mandating E-Verify would have a devastating impact on the American 
agricultural industry, including processing of agricultural products if 
it were to be enacted without reforms to our agricultural labor system. 
They must go hand in hand.
  Mr. MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from 
Washington (Mr. Newhouse).
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, just to finish, the current status quo is 
not working for our farmers, and we must address this crisis. We cannot 
mandate E-Verify without stabilizing our existing agricultural 
workforce: Removal of the seasonality requirement from H-2A 
agricultural visa programs and wage reform that makes H-2A wages and 
benefits more market based.
  With the amended legislative language, I support H.R. 2 but seek a 
commitment from leadership and my colleagues that we continue the 
important work on true bipartisan legislation that will resolve the 
workforce needs in our industry.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman has 30 seconds remaining.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the right to close.
  Mr. MEEKS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time to 
  The Foreign Affairs title of this bill should be about addressing the 
root causes of migration; about fixing the crime, corruption, poverty, 
and discrimination that causes people to flee north.
  The men and women coming to our borders do so reluctantly. They do 
not want the pain of leaving parents and children behind for an unknown 
time while they seek refuge in an unfamiliar land. They want to see 
their daughters when they come home from work, not on a video call. 
They want to hear their siblings' voices at the dinner table, not on a 
  The way to address the root causes of migration is through aid, 
assistance, investment, collaboration, and rule of law guidance. If we 
refuse to fund such programs and efforts, we are being penny-wise and 
pound-foolish; ignoring our hemispheric neighbors until they are 
knocking on our front door. What we need to do is address the root 

  This legislation is not in line with national security interests, our 
values, or our goals of curbing the migration crisis. It only 
exacerbates the situation on the border while reinstating the same 
inhumane policies that have endangered migrants. We have seen that done 
by the former administration. We have seen the actions. We know who he 
is, and we know why he put some of those policies forward.
  I can't close without saying that Chairman McCaul is a good man. I 
work with him on the committee. We talk and we debate and we do things. 
I don't want this to end with anyone thinking that I don't think Mr. 
McCaul is a good human being. He is. We do that together. However, I do 
have questions.
  I hear a lot of talk about President Biden and what he is doing or 
what his motivations are, et cetera. I, too, have questions about the 
policies of former President Trump. Coming from New York, I have been 
around a lot and seen and heard his motivations, particularly as it 
pertains to the bills that he put forward in regard to migration, and I 
know what he thinks of immigrants.
  I know what the former President thinks of immigrants. Why? Because 
he said it. He has said things that have been shocking to me, that 
reveal what he thought and why he put forward the principles that he 
started. It is not me making it up. Over 34 times he called these 
immigrants who are trying to come for better lives animals. That is not 
how we should look at these poor individuals who are running from 
crises, as they are doing in Afghanistan, Ukraine, Venezuela, and other 
parts of Latin America.
  I know because I come from New York. I have seen what he has done to 
his own employees and how he has treated them. I know because I heard 
from his own mouth, calling countries on the continent of Africa and in 
the Caribbean and South America ``asshole countries.'' I know because 
he also just wanted to put a ban on people because of their religious 
beliefs. I know because even after people were convicted in the Central 
Park 5 in New York, he still called them vicious names. I know his 
motivations, and that is reflective in the policies that he has passed.
  That is why we should not be supporting this bill. That is not who we 
are as Americans. Let's fight to show the rest of the world who we 
really are, that we want to take care, as that statue in New York City 
stands with that lady holding the torch--give me your tired, your poor. 
That is who we became as a country, not the motivations of the former 
President and his policies.
  This bill is a step in the wrong direction. It is in the wrong 
direction. Our partners in the region are watching us very closely 
today. I have been talking to those leaders. I have been talking to 
people from the various countries in Central and South America, many of 
whom are in my district. This is not the way to go.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge the Members of this august body, let's not fall 
into the same mistakes of the past. Let's sit down and figure out how 
we can work together in a bipartisan way for a strong immigration 
reform bill, so we can treat humans as humans, so we can show our 
actions are similar to what we pray.
  Whether we are in a church or a synagogue or a mosque, we pray for 
the poor and the helpless; we want to make a difference. We have an 
opportunity to

[[Page H2280]]

do that. We have an opportunity to make sure that we keep our borders 
safe by dealing with the root causes of migration and treating people 
in a humane way, not just considering those in law enforcement, but 
thinking about the people. When I see their hands on the gates asking 
for a better life, saying all I want to do is see my child have an 
opportunity, and I am willing to go through whatever the process is. 
Let's think about them. Let's think about those images. Let's think 
about how we can do better.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1430

  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Scalise), the esteemed majority leader of 
the House.
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from Texas for yielding.
  To respond to my friend Mr. Newhouse's question, first, I thank him 
for his unwavering support for American agriculture. The industry is 
lucky to have such a champion. He has been very vocal in addressing 
some of the questions. I also thank him for working with us on those 
questions. I know he has those concerns, which he brought up, but I am 
glad that we have been able to work through many of those.
  As majority leader, I can commit that we will continue to work with 
Mr. Newhouse on legislation to address the workforce needs of our 
agriculture industry.
  Mr. Speaker, we have a crisis at our Nation's border. That is why we 
are bringing the Secure the Border Act to the floor today. It is why 
the President and Secretary Mayorkas should be doing everything in 
their power to stop the surge that we are seeing today--maybe 10,000 
people coming across illegally.
  That is something that Secretary Mayorkas says is not an open border. 
I would hate to see his description of an open border if 10,000 people 
coming across in 1 day is not.
  They are derelict in their duty because they have opened up the 
border to the tune of over 5 million people who have come into our 
country. That is more than my home State of Louisiana who have come 
into our country illegally just in the last 2 years that Joe Biden has 
been President.
  We have asked where they are going. We asked how they are taking care 
of them, who is housing them, whether the kids are going to school. 
They don't know.
  In fact, The New York Times just reported that the Biden 
administration lost track of 85,000 young kids who have come into our 
country illegally. How do you lose 85,000 young kids and then say you 
don't have a problem and you won't work with Republicans to fix it?
  The President actually issued a veto threat on this bill. What does 
this bill do? It secures America's border again. It ends catch and 
release. It says: Let's get back to rule of law.
  We are actually a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. We can 
do both, but this President has abandoned the rule of law to the point 
where more than 5 million people have come across illegally.
  What has it also done? It has brought drugs into our country. The 
cartels are running our southern border.
  Today, we are going to lose 300 young people to fentanyl deaths 
because President Biden opened our southern border. Yesterday, 300 
young people died. Tomorrow, another 300 young people in America will 
die because the President opened the southern border, and he doesn't 
care about it. He issued a veto threat on the bill that would fix it.
  House Republicans are not going to sit on the sidelines. We brought a 
bill to the floor that everybody should vote for.
  Again, get back to rule of law. Give our Border Patrol agents the 
tools they need so that if somebody actually has an asylum claim, they 
can come and seek asylum the legal way.
  Do you want to come to America? We are the most generous Nation in 
the world. Legal immigration works.
  When you open up the border and bring 5 million people in 2 years, it 
undermines the entire legal system, and it breaks down communities not 
just at the border but all across America.
  This is wreaking devastation all across America, not only the deaths 
but all the other things that go with it, and the President won't fix 
  Today, we can take a step to fix this problem. Mr. Speaker, I urge 
all Members to vote for this bill, and I urge the President to get 
engaged in working with us to solve this problem. Let's pass the bill.
  Mr. McCAUL. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, House Republicans know that border 
security is national security, which is why tackling this crisis is 
crucial to fulfilling our promise to the American people and delivering 
a nation that's safe.
  Since President Biden took office, there have been over 5 million 
illegal crossings over our southern border and more than 1.3 million 
people have evaded apprehension.
  At the same time, fentanyl is pouring over the Southwest border and 
into our communities, killing Americans at catastrophic rates.
  On May 11th, Title 42 is set to expire, which is only going to 
exacerbate the current border crisis.
  President Biden and our Democratic colleagues have offered no long-
term solution.
  While H.R. 2 does much to strengthen the border, it fails to address 
an issue critical to America's farmers--reliable access to agricultural 
workers. We need essential reform to our immigration, asylum, and 
workforce laws--issues I have been relentlessly working on since coming 
to Congress.
  The United States is blessed with fertile lands and a climate 
conducive to agricultural productivity. However, without an adequate 
workforce, our farmers and ranchers struggle to harvest and tend to 
their crops. This poses a direct threat to our nation's food security, 
national security, and economic prosperity.
  Mandating E-Verify would have a devastating impact on American 
agriculture, including processing of agricultural products, if it were 
to be enacted without reforms to our agricultural labor system. They 
must go hand in hand. The current status quo is not working for our 
farmers, and we must address this crisis.
  We cannot mandate E-Verify without stabilizing our existing 
agricultural workforce, removal of the seasonality requirement from the 
H-2A agricultural visa program, and wage reform that makes H-2A wages 
and benefits more market-based.
  With the amended legislative language, I support H.R. 2 but seek a 
commitment from leadership and my colleagues that we continue the 
important work on true bipartisan legislation that will resolve the 
workforce needs in our industry.
  Thank you, Mr. Leader. We need real reforms that will ensure our 
farmers and ranchers have the workforce they need to feed our country 
and ensure our food security and economic prosperity.
  Mr. SCALISE. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my good friend for 
yielding. I also want to thank you for your unwavering support of 
American agriculture. The industry is lucky to have such a strong 
advocate and champion in Congress.
  I am proud to bring H.R. 2 to the Floor today--it is the strongest 
border security bill this House has ever considered. I want to thank 
Chairmen Jordan, Green, and McCaul for their tireless work to put 
together this bill at such a pivotal time with Title 42 expiring today 
and our border crisis only getting worse. And I'd like to thank our 
lead sponsors, Mario Diaz-Balart and Tom McClintock--they were both 
instrumental in getting this deal done.
  Dan, I want to thank you for working with us--I know you have some 
concerns, but I am glad we have been able to work through those 
  As Majority Leader, I can commit to you that we will continue to work 
with you on legislation to address the workforce needs of our 
agriculture industry.
  Ms. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 2.
  For decades, the U.S. immigration system has needed to be fixed. 
Every step of the way, Republicans failed to work with Democrats on 
effective solutions, instead blocking meaningful reform efforts for the 
past 20 years. The crisis we face now is in large part because of that. 
H.R. 2 is not the solution.
  As my colleague from Texas Rep. Cuellar has said, Republican attempts 
to solve immigration by building a wall ``is a 14th century solution to 
a 21st century problem.'' A wall is not a solution to a complex issue.
  H.R. 2 takes away critical asylum protections for those fleeing 
domestic violence and people whose lives are in imminent danger.
  Secondly, the bill reinstitutes Trump-era detention centers that rip 
families apart, separating children from their parents. As of February 
2023, nearly 1,000 migrant children separated at the U.S.-Mexico border 
by the Trump administration have yet to be reunited with their 
parents--more than two years after the former president left office.

[[Page H2281]]

  Finally, H.R. 2 removes crucial funding for legal representation for 
unaccompanied children--depriving them of trusted counsel in 
immigration proceedings. Vulnerable children deserve reliable legal 
representation to reunite them safely with their families.
  Mr. Speaker, extreme MAGA Republicans want to take us back to the 
failed illegal and immoral policies of the Trump administration. Those 
cruel and extreme immigration actions weakened the U.S. economy, 
undermined our nation's stance in protecting human rights, and 
threatened the potential of immigrants who come here seeking a better 
  I stand ready to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, 
business leaders, faith leaders, community leaders, and law enforcement 
on meaningful immigration reform. Just as we cannot forget the 
DREAMers, we cannot cast aside those seeking a better future for 
themselves and their families.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 383, the previous question is ordered on 
the bill, as amended.
  The question is on the engrossment and third reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.

                           Motion to Recommit

  Ms. GARCIA of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I have a motion to recommit at the 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the motion to 
  The Clerk read as follows:
       Ms. Garcia of Texas moves to recommit the bill H.R. 2 to 
     the Committee on the Judiciary.
  The material previously referred to by Ms. Garcia of Texas is as 

       Ms. Garcia of Texas moves to recommit the bill H.R. 2 to 
     the Committee on the Judiciary with instructions to report 
     the same back to the House forthwith, with the following 

       Strike all that follows after the enacting clause, and 
     insert the following:


       (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``American 
     Dream and Promise Act of 2021''.
       (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act 
     is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

                       TITLE I--DREAM ACT OF 2021

Sec. 101. Short title.
Sec. 102. Permanent resident status on a conditional basis for certain 
              long-term residents who entered the united states as 
Sec. 103. Terms of permanent resident status on a conditional basis.
Sec. 104. Removal of conditional basis of permanent resident status.
Sec. 105. Restoration of State option to determine residency for 
              purposes of higher education benefits.

                 TITLE II--AMERICAN PROMISE ACT OF 2021

Sec. 201. Short title.
Sec. 202. Adjustment of status for certain nationals of certain 
              countries designated for temporary protected status or 
              deferred enforced departure.
Sec. 203. Clarification.

                     TITLE III--GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 301. Definitions.
Sec. 302. Submission of biometric and biographic data; background 
Sec. 303. Limitation on removal; application and fee exemption; and 
              other conditions on eligible individuals.
Sec. 304. Determination of continuous presence and residence.
Sec. 305. Exemption from numerical limitations.
Sec. 306. Availability of administrative and judicial review.
Sec. 307. Documentation requirements.
Sec. 308. Rule making.
Sec. 309. Confidentiality of information.
Sec. 310. Grant program to assist eligible applicants.
Sec. 311. Provisions affecting eligibility for adjustment of status.
Sec. 312. Supplementary surcharge for appointed counsel.
Sec. 313. Annual report on provisional denial authority.

                       TITLE I--DREAM ACT OF 2021

     SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.

       This title may be cited as the ``Dream Act of 2021''.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XIX, the 
previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit.
  The question is on the motion to recommit.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the noes appeared to have it.
  Ms. GARCIA of Texas. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question are postponed.