U.S. Senator John Cornyn, along with a group of Republican Senators led by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), introduced the Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act to end the separation of immigrant parents and children at the border. Other original cosponsors include Marco Rubio (R-FL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Dean Heller (R-NV), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), James Lankford (R-OK), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Steve Daines (R-MT), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), John Thune (R-SD), Bob Corker (R-TN), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Hoeven (R-ND), John Boozman (R-AR), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
“Treating these families with compassion by allowing them to remain together and enforcing the laws on our books don’t have to be mutually exclusive,” said Senator Cornyn. “This legislation allows children to stay with their parents while they await their court proceedings in a separate, safe facility. The Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act is a solution everyone can get behind, and I urge Democrats to join our efforts so we can end this crisis quickly.”
Background on the Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act:
- Requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to keep immigrant families together at residential centers pending the outcome of their immigration proceedings.
- Sets mandatory standards of care for family residential centers.
- Authorizes over 200 new immigration judges and requires the DHS Secretary and Attorney General to expedite the court proceedings of children and families.
- Keeps children safe by requiring a child be removed from the care of an individual in the following cases:
- The individual presents a clear danger to the health and safety of the child;
- DHS cannot verify that the individual is actually the parent of the child;
- The parent of the child has a violent history of committing aggravated felonies;
- The child has been a victim of sexual or domestic abuse; or
- The child has been a victim of trafficking.
Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.