Skip to content


ICYMI: Democrats Dismiss Efforts to Protect Children, Uphold Rule of Law, Protect Law Enforcement

July 17, 2019

ICYMI: Democrats Dismiss Efforts to Protect Children, Uphold Rule of Law, Protect Law Enforcement

Homeland Democrats Ram Through Hyper-Partisan Border Bill, Reject Republican Amendments  

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Homeland Security Committee advanced H.R. 2203, which would undermine border security, endanger children, threaten our communities and do nothing to address the root cause of the border crisis.

Committee Republican made efforts to improve the bill, but committee Democrats rejected them all.

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) offered an amendment that would have provided greater protections to migrant children from human smugglers. Every single Democrat on the committee rejected it.

My amendment…would strike section 205, a provision [that]…prohibits trained federal law enforcement officers from saving migrant children from the clutches of dangerous human smugglers or individuals who have been convicted of violent or sexual crimes,” Ms. Lesko said. “There’s an example as recently as May of this year where DHS law enforcement officers caught a Honduran man trying to enter the country with an unrelated, wasn’t his children, 6-month-old infant. They arrested man and placed the infant in the care of HHS, thankfully. But under this bill…that 6-month-old infant would have remained in the custody of the human smuggler because under this section [law enforcement is] prohibited from removing the child.” 

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) offered an amendment to restore rule of law to H.R. 2203. It would strike a provision requiring all migrants from being released into U.S. communities after 72 hours of arrest, would allow the administration to continue its efforts to fix our broken asylum process, and eliminate a provision designed to shut down border and immigration operations. Every single Democrat on the committee rejected it.

My amendment strikes some of the bill’s most egregious attacks on the rule of law,” Higgins said. “It would remove the catch and release provision that releases all illegal immigrants into the interior of our country within 72 hours of arrest. Remote stations and large migrant groups mean that it can take days to move them to ICE or HHS facilities. Mandating a 72-hour limit on our border officers is an open invitation to cartels and smugglers stating that there are no real consequences for illegal entry into the United States…”

Higgins continued, “My amendment would also remove…restrictions on President Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols and recognize the recently announced asylum reforms. These protocols are designed to address dangerous overcrowding at ports and patrol stations by working with Mexican officials to have asylum seeks wait in Mexico for an appointment with a CBP officer… the underlying bill includes a provision that requires federal, state, and local law enforcement officers to comply with a dozen new administrative requirements for every single routine traffic stop or encounter…My amendment would strike this provision, which is designed to pull agents away from their primary mission and overburden or even shut down border and immigration enforcement operations.”

Rep. John Joyce (R-Pa.) offered an amendment to eliminate a partisan commission stacked with Democrats to “investigate” President Trump’s handling of the border crisis. Every single Democrat on the committee rejected it.

“Title I of the Escobar bill establishes a partisan commission stacked with Democrat lawmakers to ‘investigate’ President Trump’s handling of the border crisis,” Joyce said. “Establishing a partisan commission to further harass this administration is not in the best interest in assembling a bipartisan consensus that will be necessary to deal with this issue. Some of the major problems with the structure set out in this bill are: six of the ten members are Democrats, with the chairman appointed by Speaker Pelosi; commissioners are not required to have the any border security or law enforcement experience; [and] it authorizes a baseline of $3 million to carry out prescribed functions, and six-figure salaries for the staff of the commission. This commission will only look at the last two years rather than go back to when the crisis truly started under President Obama with the unaccompanied minor crisis of 2014.”

Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) offered an amendment to protect Customs and Border Protection officers from H.R. 2203’s new mandates that assume the worst of law enforcement. Every single Democrat on the committee rejected it.

“This bill’s array of new mandates are designed to second guess officers and insert open-border activists into the law enforcement process,” Green said. “Activists whose unintended consequences will be more people in harm’s way. My amendment replaces these errors with common-sense operations procedures, preventing any of these accidents from occurring. For example, striking the bill’s extra-judicial and unconstitutional Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is designed to investigate complaints made by illegal immigrants against officers and unilaterally provide whatever remedies the office deems appropriate. This could include adjustment of immigration status or monetary damages. Such changes could be made through proper authorities, but doing so through a singular unelected bureaucrat with no accountability sets up a system that gives an executive branch office the ability to undo our legislative branch actions”

Bottom line: Speaker Pelosi is rushing open border bills to the floor to appease the radical left in her caucus and vilify the president for his efforts to enforce our immigration laws. Instead of wasting time on political exercises that have no chance of becoming law, House Democrats should work across the aisle on bipartisan solutions that actually address the root causes of the border crisis.