Press releases

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today joined Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in introducing the Secure the Border Act of 2023 to end the border crisis by requiring the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to address illegal immigration.

The Secure the Border Act is a companion bill to the House-passed H.R.2, and would resume construction on the southern border wall, tighten asylum standards, criminalize visa overstays, increase the number of Border Patrol agents, prohibit DHS from using its app to assist illegal aliens and more. 

“President Biden is presiding over the worst border crisis in our nation’s history, and Americans are paying the price. Mexican cartels are smuggling fentanyl into our communities, women and children are being trafficked and individuals on the terror watchlist are running amok. It is well past time that my Senate colleagues force the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security to uphold America’s laws and protect U.S. national security interests,” said Kennedy.

“Under Joe Biden, we have a wide-open southern border. The Biden Border Crisis has created the largest illegal immigration crisis in our nation’s history. Biden’s open borders are an invitation for the cartels to brutalize children, to assault women, to overrun our communities with illegal aliens, and to flood this country with narcotics and fentanyl that kill over 100,000 people per year. This bill would stop the Biden Border Crisis dead in its tracks by building the wall, ratcheting up asylum standards, increasing the number of Border Patrol agents, and implementing effective border security policies,” said Cruz. 

Sens. Mitch McConnell (R- Ky.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) also cosponsored the legislation.

The Secure the Border Act would:

  • Require DHS to resume border wall construction.
  • Tighten asylum standards.
  • Narrow DHS’s parole power.
  • Criminalize visa overstays.
  • Require the return of all unaccompanied migrant children who do not express credible fear or are not trafficking victims.
  • Increase the number of Border Patrol agents.
  • Prevent Border Patrol agents from processing apprehended aliens.
  • Stop non-governmental organizations from receiving federal funds to facilitate illegal immigration.
  • Limit DHS’s use of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) One App to cargo.
  • Require all employers to electronically verify worker immigration status.
  • Require CBP to certify that it has access to criminal history databases of all countries of origin and transit for aliens encountered.

Full text of the Secure the Border Act is available here.