Sen. Lindsey Graham debuted a new immigration bill on Wednesday to tackle the “perfect storm brewing at the border,” taking aim at Central American migrants who he says have relied on immigration loopholes for too long.

“No matter how high the wall will be built … no matter how many agents you put at the border, they’ll keep coming because they want to get caught,” Graham said.

The legislation would authorize Homeland Security to deport unaccompanied Central American children en masse, assign 500 federal judges to help with the backlog of immigration cases, and establish refugee processing centers in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

“Word is out on the streets in Central America that if you bring a child with you – regardless of whether or not it is actually your child – America’s laws can be manipulated to allow you to stay in the United States,” Graham said.


Sen. Graham’s proposal includes:

  • Asylum claims must be filed in country of origin or Mexico, not the U.S.
  • Treat unaccompanied minors (UAC) from Central America like UAC from Canada and Mexico
  • Families can be help together up to 100 days instead of 20 days
  • 500 new immigration judges

“If we do these four things, then the incentive created by our laws will cease to exist, and this humanitarian crisis will begin to repair itself,” Graham said.

John Sanders, the Chief Operating Officer of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) also spoke. He said that:

“So far this fiscal year we’ve apprehended nearly 520,000 people on the Southern Border. In the past seven days we have average over 4,500 arrests per day.”