Webster, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Keep Families Together and Enforce Immigration Laws

Washington, DC – Florida Congressman Daniel Webster (R-Clermont) along with Representatives Rod Blum (R-IA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Bill Huizinga (R-MI), Bill Posey (R-FL), and Ted Yoho (R-FL) has introduced the Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act, H.R. 6190.  The House companion to legislation introduced in the Senate on Wednesday, this bill protects the integrity of our immigration laws while ensuring that parents and children remain together during their legal proceedings.

The bill removes the requirements of the Flores Settlement Agreement from applying to accompanied alien children, instead requiring children be kept with their parents by DHS in family residential shelters during whatever judicial proceedings surround the parent’s immigration status.  It also requires DHS to increase its available beds in family shelters by at least 1,000 and hire at least 225 immigration judges for proceedings at the southwest border.

“This bill is a commonsense solution that allows us to both enforce our laws and show compassion to families by not separating children from the loving arms of their parents," said Congressman Daniel Webster. “It ensures the abuse of the law under ‘Catch and Release’ ends and individuals are not incentivized to use children as shields against prosecution for illegal border crossing.”

“I would like to thank Congressman Dan Webster for his leadership in introducing this common-sense bill which enforces our border and the rule of law, protects children and respects human dignity,” said Congressman Bill Posey.

 “While I wholly sympathize with the experiences of these UAC as a side effect of their parents’ decision to break the law, these perverse incentives must be fixed and I hope that our Democrat colleagues will work with us to fix these laws dating back over 20 years,” said Congressman Rod Blum. “In the meantime, I signed onto the Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act to ensure the small percentage of unaccompanied illegal children who do have families in custody are held together, and to provide funding for a 1,000 increase in beds and 225 additional immigration judges to deal with the backlog of cases.”

The Senate bill, led by Senators Tillis, Rubio and others was filed on Wednesday and has more than 30 co-sponsors.

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