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Senator Lankford Introduces Bill to Strengthen Border Security, Improve Immigration System

CLICK HERE to watch the video

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today joined other Senators to introduce the Security, Enforcement, and Compassion United in Reform Efforts, (SECURE) Act, a bill that aims to strengthen border security and improve interior immigration enforcement. The bill also contains provisions from several immigration proposals, including Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) bipartisan BRIDGE Act, which protects DACA recipients from deportation. The SECURE Act is cosponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Cornyn (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and David Perdue (R-GA).

Moments after introducing the bill this afternoon, Lankford joined the other bill sponsors in a series of speeches on the Senate floor. CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s speech.

“An essential part of national security is border security. Every nation has the right to know who comes into their country,” said Lankford. “For decades, the United States has ignored obvious issues in our immigration policy, which has only made the problem worse. The President and many Members of Congress believe a DACA solution should be combined with a permanent fix to the many broken elements in our nation’s border security and immigration system. The SECURE Act is a first step to bring everyone to the table to negotiate a common-sense solution to DACA and issues related to illegal immigration. It is my hope that in the months ahead, Republicans and Democrats will come together so that we can provide the certainty that families deserve and the border security our country desperately needs.”

“This legislation combines common-sense border security and interior enforcement reforms with Senators Graham’s and Durbin’s bipartisan solution on DACA,” said Chairman Grassley. “It restores integrity to our immigration system by cracking down on illegal immigration and criminal immigrants, while recognizing the circumstances of those brought here through no fault of their own. This bill improves public safety and prosperity for Americans and immigrants alike and ensures tragedies like the deaths of Kate Steinle and Sarah Root never happen again. This is a bill that our colleagues from both sides of the aisle should be able to support. President Trump is ready and willing to sign it, so it’s time for Congress to get it done.”

The SECURE Act includes various border security provisions, such as additional human and technological resources on the border and fencing in certain areas. It also provides more judicial resources to reduce backlogs in immigration court and target fraud. The bill seeks to improve community safety and cooperation by eliminating so-called “sanctuary” policies that inhibit enforcement and it provides expedited removal for individuals involved in certain criminal activities. The SECURE Act also permanently reauthorizes the E-Verify program and encourages greater voluntary enrollment to strengthen our legal workforce and encourage legal immigration. It also limits family migration to spouses and minor children.

On September 25, Lankford and Tillis introduced the SUCCEED Act, a solution to address the legal uncertainty facing Dreamers, undocumented children who were brought to the United States as children.