When it comes to the immigration situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, several Democrats and Republicans in the Senate are joining together to push the president to implement a pilot program, to quickly remove migrants who don’t have a valid asylum claim.
Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Doug Jones (D-Ala.) are joining efforts with Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), among other Republican colleagues, in writing to President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, and Attorney General William Barr.
According to Fox News, in the letter, the senator’s are pressing the president to implement the Operation Safe Return pilot program, which would help identify and process migrants and then deport those without valid asylum claims faster. This would allow the DHS to remove migrants who don’t meet the criteria for “credible fear” asylum claims to be deported within 15 days.
“Within approximately 15 days after being encountered, the Department of Homeland Security should remove family units whose negative credible fear determinations are affirmed by the immigration judge,” the senators’ letter says.
The letter reads:
“Through this program, we expect that we can meet our commitments to humanitarian protections while ensuring proper efficiency, timeliness, order, and fairness in the credible fear screening process. We also expect that Operation Safe Return will help us examine current process deficiencies, identify required increases in capacity, and understand the drivers of migration.”
“This pilot program would apply to families who aren’t claiming ‘credible fear,’ which of course is the first threshold in seeking asylum,” Sinema told The Arizona Republic. She added that if a migrant is leaving their country for the reason of not being able to make a living or if “‘it’s hard to take care of my family'” there, then that’s called an “economic migrant.”