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At 100-Day Mark, Congress Hasn't Lifted a Finger to Fix Immigration - Will This Plan Put the Squeeze on Mexico?

04-12-2019
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This Congress hit the 100-day mark this week, and although the session began with a government shutdown over immigration and then reopened, lawmakers haven't done anything to address the larger issue.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is calling for a new push on a bipartisan agreement that resolves immigration and border security problems.

"I think it's way past time, on both sides, that we sit down together and see what we could agree to to improve the situation, not only border security, but also the asylum laws are very challenging," McConnell told reporters.

This came the same day Vice President Mike Pence made a similar call from the border.
 
"So President Trump and I are calling on the Congress to come together and close the loopholes in our asylum laws to bring about the changes that allow us to return individuals who are apprehended in this country to their countries in Central America the way that we can today in Mexico," said Pence.

Border state Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) tells CBN News he supports changes to asylum laws.

"The problem is most of those would require legislation to get done and I think that's carrying a big rock up a steep hill," says Biggs.

He also wants to see fencing and walls in appropriate places and the amnesty issue addressed.

"We have got to have help from Mexico because it used to be mostly Mexican nationals coming across. That's not the case anymore. Now it's mostly Central American people and other nationalities coming across," he added.

Biggs suggests President Trump leverage his authority by freezing remittance payments to Mexico.
 
"Those transfer payments are about $30 billion a year, if he freezes those for a short period of time he can get the leverage I think he needs for Mexico to say we'll sign an international protocol like Canada has done where Mexico can actually help us with the amnesty issue," Biggs explained.

He plans to take a congressional delegation to the border next week. "We'll see how it works and we'll see how it doesn't work," said Biggs.

And he's not the only Republican doubting whether or not Congress can reach an agreement.

"I don't think we're going to get immigration reform done because I think Democrats now forgot about what they were for just a few years ago and they calculated politically they're better off having the status quo or worse," Sen. Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) told CBN News.

Like criminal justice reform, Braun believes Congress will only act when the issue is so broken they can't ignore it anymore.

"It is as complicated as I think most other things the federal government is involved with, it gets too far down the trail to where it's close to calamity or disaster," continued Braun.
 
For decades Congress has failed to approve sweeping immigration reform, and passing a deal will only get more challenging the closer we get to the 2020 election.

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