Blackburn, Colleagues Introduce Stopping Border Surges Act

March 23, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) along with Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced the Stopping Border Surges Act, a bill to address loopholes in our immigration system which encourage vulnerable immigrant populations to take dangerous, illegal paths of entry into the United States.

“Migrants exploit our immigration system to illegally enter and stay in the United States,” said Senator Blackburn. “This process enriches cartels and coyotes that traffic illegal immigrants across the border. The sad truth is many of the young women and children are sexually abused and assaulted during their journey to the United States. We need to stop this dangerous cycle of abuse.”

“Loopholes in our immigration system perversely compel women and children to entrust their savings, futures, and lives to cartels and coyotes –  endangering the safety of vulnerable immigrants, and undermining the integrity of our system,” said Sen. Lee. “This bill would help stop these dangerous opportunities for abuse.”

“By reversing some of President Trump’s most successful border policies, President Biden has sent a ‘come one, come all’ signal to immigrants. Not only has this created a surge of illegal immigrants coming across the border, but it’s also created an environment that is ripe for abuse,” said Sen. Tuberville. “This bill prevents the exploitation of our immigration laws to the benefit of people willing to use vulnerable migrants, including children, to further illegal behavior. Children should not be used as a free pass to get into our country. I urge my colleagues to join in support of this bill.”

 “The current surge of migrants at our border, due in large part to the immediate and illogical reversal of the previous administration’s policies, underscores the need for Congress to work together to address this humanitarian and national security crisis. Right now, loopholes in our immigration system are encouraging unaccompanied children and families to make the perilous journey—at the hands of ruthless smugglers—to enter the U.S. through our now-open southern border. This bill will close a number of these loopholes and help stop this dangerous surge,” said Sen. Ernst.

“Each day the humanitarian, national security, and public health crises on our southern border produced by President Biden's open-borders policies and immigration loopholes continue to worsen,” said Sen. Cruz. “Because President Biden’s administration has irresponsibly promised amnesty, thousands of illegal immigrants are being moved across the border—many of which are unaccompanied children—by vicious and abusive criminal cartels. As we work to control this border crisis, I am proud to join Senator Lee in introducing this bill to close these loopholes in our immigration system that continue to incentivize human trafficking and illegal immigration.”

The past few months have demonstrated the dangerous costs of immigration surges at our southern border. In just the last month, traffickers have allegedly made as much as $14 million dollars a week smuggling vulnerable men, women and children across the border—and once indebted to the cartels and coyotes, the price they pay is far more costly than money. Reportedly, a third of the people making their way to the border are sexually assaulted, and many are forced into some form of trafficking.

In addition to empowering the cartels and coyotes, these surges have overwhelmed our facilities and our ability to process immigrants in a timely and safe fashion. In recent days, thousands of unaccompanied minors have been held in overcrowded Customs and Border Patrol facilities built to house adults, with no end in sight; and adults have been prematurely released into the community, receiving positive COVID-19 tests only days after their release.

The Stopping Border Surges Act includes reforms that would help stem the surges of aliens that our country can neither support nor sustain; strengthen our asylum process; eliminate the incentive to send children on the perilous, solo journey to the border; and dampen the exploitative power of the coyotes and cartels.

Click here for the full bill text and one-pager.