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Graham: “We Have to Change our Laws” to End Border Crisis

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) discussed efforts to address the ongoing crisis at the southern border.

  • GRAHAM: “We have to change our laws so these people stop coming. There's a narrative in Central America that if you can get to America with a minor child, you will never get deported, and we have to change that story line.”  
  • GRAHAM: “Under international law, you're supposed to apply for asylum in the first safe country you go to, which would be Mexico if you're from Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador. So the President's putting pressure on Mexico to stop these caravans. But if you get one foot in the United States and you read a card claiming asylum you're entitled to a hearing. We don't have bed space to hold you until that hearing date, so we release you into the country…So let's toughen up our asylum standard.”
  • GRAHAM: “…the Flores decision needs to change. It's impossible to do a hearing in 20 days. So we're going to try to change the time you can hold a unaccompanied minor, or a minor child beyond 20 days because if you come up with a family and you've got minor kids in the family, we release the whole family in 20 days because you don't want to separate families.”
  • GRAHAM: “Finally, there's a quirk in the law that if you're from Central America as a minor child, we can't send you back. We need to change that law so we can send them back to Central America where they came from.”  
  • GRAHAM: “It’s got to be a bill the President will sign. Once we get agreement between myself and the White House and Senator Johnson, the Homeland Security Chairman who has some jurisdiction here, we’ll put together a package, we’ll sit down with our Democratic colleagues and try to figure out a deal that will stop this madness. We need troops at the border. We need a wall. But there’s no way you’re going to stop the flow from Central America until you change our laws. These laws are insane, we need to change them.”