UPDATE: According to THE HILL at this link: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/393069-schumer-rejects-gop-proposal-to-address-border-crisis#.WyltYRd0tVc.twitter, Senator Schuemer said he would not approve anything and wants to keep the "focus on Trump." He wants President Trump to use his executive order to alter immigration law. Folks, that is NOT legal. E.O.s are to show how to ENFORCE law. It's the job of Congress to create and modify it. Immigration is also not one of the enumerated powers of the President. You can view those easily at the document from the JFK library here: https://www.jfklibrary.org/~/media/assets/Education%20and%20Public%20Programs/Education/middle%20school%20programs/The%20Presidents%20Job%20According%20to%20the%20Constitution.pdf
The Democrats have proposed some border legislation (and one of my Senators said he supports it). It can be read at this link: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/3036/text?q=%7B%22search%22:[%22S.3036%22]%7D&r=1
I find it hurriedly written and ambiguous, downright oddly worded in some places and entirely unacceptable in at least one place.
Yet, it does have good points, most of which are actions already in place, but I'm not sure were codified as "required" and they should have been, if they’re not already.
So, let me give you 3 good things first:
1. All guidance on reunification shall be in both English and Spanish (which it already is, but good to be codified as such). I think it should be in more languages, personally, especially those in altered script (like Cyrillic, for example, or Arabic)
2. There shall be a monthly status report on each separated child's activities. While good, this doesn't say if this is only while in detainee status or even if released to other family in the region, so that needs cleared up more. It also needs to be less ambiguous as to WHO will make the report and WHO will receive the said report—PARENTS should receive every copy of their child’s file in real time, too, but that’s not mentioned.
3. Section 7 in its entirely is already in place. However, I liked how simple it was and easy to read. The layout is easy to locate….I wish more bills were like this
Now, here's 3 that I found odd or poorly worded and one entirely unacceptable:
1. The term "agent" is mentioned here and is defined pretty much as any federal employee. Now, do we really think the IRS agents will know how to properly deal with immigration? That needs cleaned up and better defined, for sure.
2. Section 2 says, "An agent or officer of a designated agency shall be prohibited from removing a child from his or her parent or legal guardian, at or near the port of entry or within 100 miles of the border of the United States, unless one of the following has occurred:" Within 100 miles OR near a point of entry would make pretty much the same geographic area of over 1/2 of the total area of the USA. That's a HUGE region to discuss. Are we adding lots more of these oddly called "agents" to deal with this? This seems like it either needs tightened up geographically OR clarified entirely as to HOW this is to happen.
3. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE PERIOD:
Section 3b says, “An agency may not remove a child from a parent or legal guardian solely for the policy goal of deterring individuals from migrating to the United States or for the policy goal of promoting compliance with civil immigration laws.” Now, this REALLY bothers me more than I can say. What this is saying is that we cannot promote COMPLIANCE with the existing laws. That’s NOT OK with me. Why not use this document to ALTER the law rather that state clearly that promoting compliance with the law is not ok?
EXTRA 2 that I don’t care for:
1. The document defines “child” as anyone under 18 and no permanent immigration status. Now, under that definition, ANY child in the US that is a present CITIZEN also has no permanent immigrant status because they don’t need one. HOWEVER, this does not state “immigrant child” or “non-citizen child” but rather “child.” THAT bothers me greatly here also. I think that needs to be re-written to state one of my suggested options or similar.
2. “agent” is defined to include “contractors” of the government. So, does that mean that any person can be made a “contractor” or can the security agencies we contract in the Middle East be brought here to be “contractors?” Again, this needs tightened up and/or reworked.
SO, for these reasons, I give this a grade of “F” for not adding appropriate detail, but mainly crafting legislation saying that we cannot promote compliance with the law. THAT is NOT what law is for (to be ignored). Once this would be signed (which I doubt it will), they could ignore any law based on this by doing the same. It seems to me that this was written with the express purpose of being voted DOWN. Surely these experienced lawmakers like Diane Feinstein who sponsored this knows how to write better legislation than this.
Grade = F (because our immigrants deserve better)