AUSTIN (KXAN) — Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, along with U.S. Reps. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, and Tony Gonzales, R-Southwest Texas, introduced bipartisan legislation “to respond to the surge in migrants coming across our southern border.”
The bill, called the “Bipartisan Border Solutions Act,” would add four processing facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as provide funding to hire people to work at them. Lawmakers also want to add up to 150 more immigration judges to help with processing, and Cuellar wants the judges to be stationed in border communities.
“The bill would create four new regional processing centers for high traffic areas during surges,” Cornyn said. “They would be given the means to understand what laws are and an opportunity to present any legitimate claims for asylum at the regional processing centers.”
Another reason for the legislation is to take pressure off Border Patrol personnel so they can stay on the frontlines, Cornyn said.
According to a report by TheHill.com, the U.S Chamber of Commerce supports the legislation. The lobbying group’s chief policy officer Neil Bradley said the bill’s provisions are “not only necessary to confront the ongoing crisis on our southern border, but they also need to be considered by Congress as they debate other immigration issues where reform is desperately needed.”
“We want to reduce wait times for people that have legitimate claims,” Cornyn said. “We want to hire more immigration judge team and asylum officers.”
The bill is both bipartisan and bicameral. Democratic Senator Krysten Sinema of Arizona also introduced the bill in the Senate with Sen. Cornyn.