On Friday, August 1, the House voted 223-189 in favor of H.R. 5230, known as the “Secure the Southwest Border Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2014.” The $694M bill, now headed to the Senate, includes:
- $405M for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to boost border security and law enforcement measures.
- $22M to accelerate judicial proceedings for immigrants.
- $70M for National Guard border efforts: $35M for the federal deployment of the Guard, and $35M for reimbursing states for their use of the Guard on the southern border.
- $197M for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide temporary housing and humanitarian assistance to unaccompanied minors.
- $40M in repatriation assistance to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador (redirected from within existing foreign aid for Central American countries so that these repatriation activities are immediately prioritized).
- Amends the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 so all unaccompanied alien children (UACs) are treated the same as Mexicans and Canadians for the purpose of removals. UACs who have a credible fear of persecution or who have been trafficked must appear before an immigration judge within 14 days of their initial screening and shall be detained until their appearance.
- Provides authority for the Secretary of State to negotiate agreements with foreign countries regarding UAC, which include protections for children who are returned to their country of nationality.
- Includes a “last-in, first-out” policy that prioritizes the removal of minors that most recently arrived.
- Authorizes additional temporary judges to help address the increase in traffic on the southern border.
- Changes the Immigration and Nationality Act to strengthen the law prohibiting criminals with serious drug related convictions from applying for asylum.
- Prohibits the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) from denying or restricting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) activities on federal land under their respective jurisdictions.
- Authorizes the deployment of the National Guard to the southern border.
- Expresses the “Sense of Congress” that the Secretary of Defense should not house unauthorized aliens at military installations unless certain specific conditions are met.
- Prohibits the housing of unauthorized immigrants on military bases if the use of the military instillation will displace members of the Armed Forces on active duty or interfere with military activities at the installation.
Read the full report here.
Spencer King is the GTSC U.S. Intelligence Community Fellow. Spencer studied at Audencia Nantes Ecole de Management and at Shenandoah University, where he graduated Cum Laude. Spencer was the president of the Student Government Association at Shenandoah University. At Shenandoah University, he worked for the university president’s office on lobbying, governance, and special projects. Spencer also interned at Wolf Trap, where he facilitated strategic planning, government relations, special initiatives, and board relations/operations.