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Heritage Foundation slams new border “insecurity” bill


People walking outside of the U.S. Capitol Associated Press/Photo by Jose Luis Magana

Heritage Foundation slams new border “insecurity” bill

Leaders of the conservative think tank on Tuesday expressed their stringent opposition to the bi-partisan Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2024, or H.R.815.

The Director of Heritage’s Border Security and Immigration Center Lora Ries said the bill would “entice more asylum fraud and more illegal immigration” by continuing to issue work permits to all illegal migrants seeking asylum. She also disputed claims that the bill ends so-called “catch and release” policies, arguing that the legislation mandates the release of unaccompanied children and families. She said under the bill, single adults would also be placed into “noncustodial detention,” a status she characterized as another form of “release.” Additionally, Ries said the measure allows for an average of 4,000 illegal migrants to cross the border daily for a week before Homeland Security could trigger emergency authority.

Heritage Vice President for Foreign Policy and National Security Victoria Coates alleges the bill abuses the title of “an unforeseeable emergency,” pointing out that every section begins with an emergency provision, regardless of timing. She used the bill’s funding for Ukraine as an example, noting that with the war’s second anniversary less than two weeks away, “defining Ukraine as a multi-year emergency is just dishonest.” She also voiced concern over “a large tranche for refugee support, which is very poorly defined,” specifically $10 billion for “so-called humanitarian aid” for Ukraine and Israel. “We don't give humanitarian aid to Israel, they don’t need it,” Coates explained, “But for these purposes, ‘Israel’ also includes the Palestinian territories. So this could be up to $10 billion for Palestinian causes.”

Does the bill do anything good? Supporters say it is a bi-partisan bill that funds Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and other U.S. allies while also bolstering security on the U.S. southern border. Ries admits that the bill does provide some tools for U.S. Customs and Border Protection at ports of entry and that it raises the “credible fear standard,” the proof of possible persecution migrants must establish to seek asylum. But Ries argued those provisions are voided by the loose asylum process built into the bill. “The resounding majority of the bill is unhelpful,” Ries asserted.

Dig deeper: Read Leo Briceno’s report on more Congressional opinions on H.R.815.


Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.


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