Rep. Mark Meadows Introducing Bill to Address Separation of Illegal Immigrant Families

By Melanie Arter | June 19, 2018 | 2:37pm EDT
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) (Screenshot)

( - Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) told reporters at the White House Tuesday that he is introducing legislation to address the separation of illegal immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Meadows said he had not talked to Trump about the legislation, but he has shared it with the administration and GOP leadership.


“We’ll be introducing it later today, and hopefully, that will give us a path forward where Democrats and Republicans can come together and endorse a piece of legislation that deals with this issue at our border,” Meadows said.

When asked whether the White House supports a standalone bill to deal with the issue, Meadows said, “Really at this point, it’s more a legislative action. I think the administration has said that. It’s up to the Congress to act on this particular thing. As we look at the Flores decision from back in 1997, it was designed originally to help children, and yet what we’re seeing is is some of the unintended consequences of this.

“We worked over the weekend to come up with a bill that’s 77 pages long. We’ll be introducing it today around 2:30. We’re reaching out to some of our Democrat colleagues to see if they can support us in this effort and have it as a backup. If one of the two bills that we’re going to be discussing today later on at Capitol Hill did not gain-- if they don’t gain the votes to get to 218 and actually have a chance at becoming law, this becomes the backup,” he said.

“Can you address the frustration that some American have that say first of all, if they did not drag little kids here unlawfully, we won’t have this issue and quite frankly, there are a number of Americans who do feel very passionately that while we’re trying to do the right thing, we also have to protect our borders. What do you say to them?” Fox News Correspondent Kevin Corke asked.

“Well we do have to protect our borders. We’re a nation of laws, and yet when we look at this, if you look at last year, the numbers, some 100,000 asylum seekers, only 20 percent of those actually were adjudicated to say that they have a legitimate claim,” Meadows said.

“And so 80 percent of those came here perhaps under the opinion or the belief that they could claim asylum and get here, so we’ve got to address all of that, and I think there’s a way to do it compassionately, but there’s also a way to make sure that we’re a nation of laws and we do that. That’s what we’re trying to do,” he said.


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