Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)
(CNSNews.com) -- During a press conference on Capitol Hill Thursday, Republican Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ron Jonhson (R-Wisc.), John Barrasso (R-Wy.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced and immigration bill that focuses on building a wall on the US-Mexico border, implementing Kate’s Law, and withholding federal funding from sanctuary cities.
If passed, the Building America’s Trust Act would authorize approximately $15 billion over four years to further U.S. border security and strengthen the enforcement of existing immigration laws.
“For too long, law enforcement -- particularly our border patrol -- haven’t had the tools and resources they need to get the job done,” said Senate Majority Whip Cornyn. “The border patrol in particular risk their lives every day to keep us safe, and it’s really inexcusable that they don’t have either the policies in place or the resources to get that done.”
A section of the fencing/wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. (CBP)
“This bill requires the Department of Homeland Security and Law Enforcement to consult with local officials at each step of the way,” said Cornyn. “This bill also steps up enforcement of current laws by ending catch and release by enacting Kate’s Law, and holding sanctuary cities accountable.”
Senator Barrasso said, “The past administration effectively sent the message that we would not enforce our immigration laws in this country. The legislation today is sending a very different message.”
“Today we are sending the message that we will defend our borders,” he said, “we will enforce our immigration laws and we will deter illegal immigration.”
Senator Tillis told reporters that he thinks the legislation has the potential to gain bipartisanship support.
“If you’re against the wall, if you’re in the group of people that thinks we need bridges not borders, think about the humanitarian crisis that will continue if we don’t increase situational awareness and operational control down there,” said Tillis. “Think about the more than 10,000 people who have died crossing the border by human smuggler who has left them for dead.”
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) (WUNC.com)
“If we get the borders secure, I am completely convinced that then we can focus on the bad actors that will continue to cross the border and we will continue to provide the tools that law enforcement needs to do it safely,” Tillis added.
Groups such as the National Border Patrol Council, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, and the National Sheriffs Association have voiced their support for the act.