THE WHITE HOUSE – The ongoing rush of Latin American asylum seekers has led a record number arrests on the southern US border – a whopping 100,000 people caught while entering the US illegally in April alone.
So there's a new push underway to change US asylum laws. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is introducing a bill he says would "stop 90% of illegal immigration from Central America." He blames Republicans and Democrats for letting this problem fester, saying they need to tackle the crisis now.
"The situation we have on the border today is horrible," Graham said. But he says he has a plan to fix it.
"If you are an unaccompanied minor from Central America, under our law we can only hold you 20 days," he explained. His proposal would change that by increasing the detention of migrant children to 100 days.
Graham continued, "So that the family can be detained humanely and we can get the claim processed and not have to release them into the country."
The bill would close loopholes and add 500 judges to help with the backlog of some 900,000 claims. To top that, new claims would now be filed in the migrant's country of origin, not in the US.
Graham said, "We're going to try and set up a facility in Mexico. No more asylum claims at the US border if you're from Central America."
This proposal comes after President Trump's son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner led a team to Capitol Hill to present the White House's plan which moves US immigration towards a merit-based system.
"Tremendous problems are caused at the Southern Border, from drugs to the wrong people being allowed to come in because of a corrupt and broken system that can be changed in 20 minutes," President Donald Trump said.
Graham says it's time to change the way Americans think about the border. "If you look at this problem and you think the bad guys are the men and women at DHS, the border patrol, labor, HHS… you're missing the point. The bad people are the smugglers, the good people are the ones who are trying to humanely take care of a problem that is overwhelming a system."
Sen. Graham says he's willing to sit down with Democrats and listen to other ideas to potentially marry up with his proposal. CBN News has learned the White House could release their immigration plan as early as Thursday.