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Johnson Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Border Security

by Minden Press-Herald

The Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act will help ensure the U.S. asylum system is not abused but instead reserved for persons fleeing persecution or imminent harm

WASHINGTON, February 24, 2023 — United States Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04) today introduced legislation to strengthen border security and protection.

The Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act will help ensure the U.S. asylum system is not abused but instead reserved only for persons legitimately fleeing persecution or imminent harm in their home countries.

“America is the most compassionate nation in the world, but our immigration system is broken. Reforming that system is a job for Congress, and any balanced legislative approach must include measures to strengthen border security,” Johnson said. “This bill will help ensure that our asylum system is reserved for those truly seeking refuge in America from violence or persecution.”

Background:

In Fiscal Year 2021, federal authorities arrested a record 1.7 million people illegally crossing the southern border. In Fiscal Year 2022, the record was again broken as southern border arrests surpassed 2.3 million.

The Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act helps prevent abuses which run rampant in the asylum process.

  • Improves Credible Fear standard: elevates the minimal standard under current law which allows illegal immigrants apprehended at the border to claim a “credible fear of persecution” by requiring immigrants to demonstrate a credible fear of persecution that is more probable than not, in order to curtail fraud and help ensure only legitimate claims are approved.
  • Provides asylum seekers the ability to apply for benefits from safe third countries: The bill grants the Department of Homeland Security the power to remove asylum seekers to safe third countries where they would have access to a full and fair procedure to apply for asylum without the current necessity for bilateral agreements with those countries. This would allow the return of apprehended Central Americans to Mexico, for example, where they could apply for asylum.
  • Terminates asylum for those who return home: The bill requires termination of asylum status when an immigrant returns to their home country from which they sought asylum, absent a change in country conditions.

Congressman Johnson is the Vice Chairman of the House Republican Conference, a member of the House Judiciary and Armed Services Committees, and a former constitutional law litigator.

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