Portman Op-Ed in the Cincinnati Enquirer: “I’m Committed to Bipartisan Solution to Border Crisis”

July 30, 2019 | Portman Difference

The southern border of the United States continues to experience an unprecedented crisis of immigration. Each day, thousands of migrants and asylum seekers from Central America surrender to Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents or attempt to cross the border illegally, and many bring children along on the long and arduous journey. This has made it difficult for CBP to fulfill its other missions, including stopping drugs like fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine from entering into the United States from Mexico.

Senator Portman has been a vocal advocate both for increased security and the border and for a humanitarian solution to the large number of individuals and children who are detained as a result of illegally crossing the border. In July, he joined a congressional delegation to McAllen, Texas, to see firsthand the situation at one of CBP’s largest processing facilities.

In a Cincinnati Enquirer op-ed, Portman wrote: “After seeing the border firsthand, I’m more convinced than ever that we need to reform our laws in three ways. First, by fixing our broken asylum laws and working with the United Nations on a refugee alternative so individuals with a valid asylum claim don’t have to travel to our border. Second, by overturning the parts of court rulings that necessitate releasing people into the United States if a child accompanies them. Finally, by permitting the return of unaccompanied children to their families in their home countries, provided they’re returned to a safe place.”

Excerpts of the op-ed can be found below, and the full op-ed can be found at this link.

 

I’m Committed to Bipartisan Solution to Border Crisis

By Senator Rob Portman

The Cincinnati Enquirer

July 30, 2019

It should be clear to all Americans by now that there is a very real crisis occurring at our southern border. It’s an immigration crisis, with over 100,000 border crossings per month and unprecedented numbers of families with children.

Earlier this month, I traveled to McAllen, Texas, so that I could see firsthand what is happening in the border. I toured facilities, spoke to migrants, and met with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and leadership from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the ground.

I saw hundreds of individuals held at the Donna processing facility, and I was able to speak to both families and unaccompanied children. The five or six families I spoke to were all from the so-called Northern Triangle countries – El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. I’m sure other families had requested asylum out of fear for gang violence or other forms of persecution, but each parent I stopped to talk to said poverty had driven the family north, where they were seeking a better life for their families. That’s certainly understandable.

However, there’s a long list of people from the Northern Triangle and other developing countries waiting patiently to come here through the proper, legal channels, under which America annually admits hundreds of thousands of immigrants. 

After seeing the border firsthand, I’m more convinced than ever that we need to reform our laws in three ways. First, by fixing our broken asylum laws and working with the United Nations on a refugee alternative so individuals with a valid asylum claim don’t have to travel to our border. Second, by overturning the parts of court rulings that necessitate releasing people into the United States if a child accompanies them. Finally, by permitting the return of unaccompanied children to their families in their home countries, provided they’re returned to a safe place.

These measures, combined with more assistance from Mexico and effective aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, will help get our immigration system working again. I’m committed to working with Democrats and Republicans on bipartisan solutions to alleviate this very real crisis at the border.

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