Rep. Lesko introduces 6 immigration bills to get to ‘root of border crisis’
PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona introduced six bills Monday that are “aimed at getting to the root of the border crisis.”
“We have been dealing with the border crisis in Arizona for years, but it has really gotten to the point of breaking,” the Republican lawmaker told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.
“Now I’m hoping to convince my Democratic colleagues to join me on all or some of these immigration bills.”
Three bills focus on cutting down asylum applications by increasing the credible fear standard, naming anyone who makes frivolous claims permanently ineligible for asylum and allowing the Department of Homeland Security to designate more safe third countries.
We are experiencing an unprecedented national security and humanitarian crisis at our border. I introduced six bills to address some of the root causes of the border crisis by reforming our asylum system, increasing the number of immigration judges and detention beds….
— Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (@RepDLesko) July 22, 2019
One bill would authorize funds for more detention beds, while another would provide more immigration judges to reduce the backlog of asylum claims.
The sixth bill would allow authorities to detain a “small segment” of criminal immigrants for extended periods.
“I think the one that probably has the most chance of getting bipartisan support is the additional 100 immigration judges, because I’ve heard multiple Democratic House members say that they would be interested in doing that,” Lesko said.
“But I’m going to reach out to them on all of them. I know I already have Republican support on most of these.”
Lesko said House leadership will now likely assign the bills to the Judiciary Committee, where she will try to convince the chairman to hear them.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report.