Issue Toolkit:

The Secure the Border Act

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Background information

The day President Joe Biden was inaugurated, he halted the construction of the border wall and began enacting a series of policies to incentivize historically massive levels of illegal immigration. Since January 20, 2021, over 7 and a half million illegal migrants have crossed into our nation’s borders from over 160 countries, including at least 1.7 million known “got-aways,” and 250+ individuals on the terror watch list.

Our open southern border also acts as a freeway for fentanyl into American cities and towns. According to the NIH, 70,601 Americans died from fentanyl poisoning in 2021 alone, a 25% increase from 2020.

On May 11, 2023 House Republicans kept a major piece of their Commitment to America, when the Secure the Border Act (H.R. 2) passed with a vote of 219 in favor and 213 in opposition. This critical legislation is the only solution to stop the massive influx of illegal immigration that is a direct result of the reckless policies of President Biden and Democrats. Heritage Action added H.R. 2 to our legislative scorecard after issuing a ‘YES’ key vote. Thanks to a decade of work by the grassroots, House Republicans have taken meaningful action to secure the border.

The Secure the Border Act was a combination of separate border security bills debated and passed out of key committees including the House Judiciary Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee. The House Judiciary components include ending asylum fraud, closing immigration loopholes, mandating E-Verify to ensure legal employment, and preventing “catch and release”. The House Homeland Security components call for resuming border wall construction, supporting local law enforcement, and bolstering Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel, resources, and technology.

Now that the bill has passed the House, grassroots conservatives should stand ready to make certain that the U.S. Senate finishes what House Republicans started with this long awaited border security package to curtail illegal immigration.

To secure the border immediately, we need a robust package that accomplishes all of the following:

1. Ends Asylum Fraud

Currently, anyone can illegally cross the border into America and seek “asylum” without presenting any evidence of political, racial, or religious persecution. Millions of these illegal migrants enter the United States for purely “economic reasons.” President Biden has instructed the Border Patrol to process these individuals and quickly release them (i.e., “catch and release”) into America until their case is adjudicated, which takes years due to the high volume of fraudulent crimes in the case backlog! In an ideal system, only a statistically small number of individuals should be allowed in the U.S. on asylum grounds, not millions of people.

This is blatant abuse and weaponization of our asylum laws, and it prevents America from properly assisting those truly persecuted individuals in need of protection.

2. Ends “Catch and Release”

By mass releasing illegal aliens into the U.S., Biden has created the largest pull factor of illegal immigration. This open border recklessness undermines our sovereignty and our national security—it must be secured.

Congress must end “catch and release” and codify into law Trump-era policies to require asylum seekers to remain in safe third countries (like Mexico) or be detained and wait until their asylum claims are confirmed.

Ending this major incentive for illegal immigration will restore America’s sovereignty and reduce the victimization of millions of individuals who are illegally trafficked across our border.

3. Finishes the Border Wall

In order to effectively maintain border security, the border wall must be finished. It’s past time to close the gaps allowing illegal immigrants to flow through our southern border.

4. Increases Border Patrol resources—in conjunction with closing loopholes in the immigration system

The primary goal of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is to keep our country safe from illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and illegal importation. These efforts are largely led by CBP agents at and between ports of entry along U.S. borders through our immigration enforcement infrastructure. CBP needs increased resources to effectively combat the significant threat to our national security, but so long as the Biden administration directs agents to process the masses into the country, more money alone will only accelerate that processing, worsening the border crisis.

The House’s robust border security package ensures CBP money and resources are directed towards the right actions to secure the border. Simply put, we must end “catch and release” to ensure Biden doesn’t use Border Patrol resources to process even more illegal immigrants into the country.

Along with increased CBP resources, Congress needs to close loopholes. This means ending asylum fraud, ending the enticement of parents to send unaccompanied alien children across the border, and removing the 20-day detention limit for family units (Flores settlement).

5. Mandates E-verify to ensure legal employment

Removing incentives for illegal immigration will reduce the strain on resources at our southern border. It is a long-established law that an individual must have legal status in the country to work, and E-Verify has proven to be 99 percent accurate at identifying those who can work in the United States.

6. No Amnesty

Perhaps most importantly, the House’s robust border security bill does not create amnesty in any form. This border security package is focused on securing the border, and any grant of amnesty would act as a magnet to encourage even more illegal immigration.

For more information on these provisions, please read this coalition letter.

Additional Resources:

Heritage Action: Secure the Border Act Passes House Following Heritage Action Key Vote ‘YES’

Heritage Action: KEY VOTE: “YES” on the Secure the Border Act (H.R. 2)

Heritage Action: Coalition letter on The Secure the Border Act

Heritage Action: Secure The Border Video

Heritage: Coalition letter on policies needed to secure the border

Heritage: 3 Things the Left Doesn’t Want You to Say About the Southern Border

Heritage: Fighting Human Trafficking and Battling Biden’s Open Border

Heritage: The Costs of Biden’s Border Crisis: The First Two Years

Heritage: The Got-Away Crisis at Our Southern Border

Heritage: The Left Is Downplaying Reality of Fentanyl Crisis

Key Points

  • House Republicans passed the Secure the Border Act (H.R. 2), the strongest border security and enforcement package to date. All Senators should pressure Senator Schumer to immediately bring this bill up for consideration to restore safety and security to our country.

  • Biden is purposefully keeping our border open, and Congress must act to close it. Following the passage of the Secure the Border Act (H.R. 2) in the House, the Senate must vote on the House version of this robust border security bill that draws a sharp contrast with the policies of the Biden administration.

  • Our open southern border enables cartels to easily traffic drugs and kill Americans. According to the NIH, 70,601 Americans died from fentanyl poisoning in 2021.

  • Biden’s policy of “catch and release” is an affront to our immigration laws and America’s sovereignty. During Biden’s presidency, this policy has enabled 7 Million illegal immigrants to enter and remain in America. We must strengthen our laws and close loopholes which allow people to walk across the border and then stay indefinitely.

  • Our asylum system is being defrauded and the Biden administration is encouraging more of it. Congress needs to end asylum fraud by clarifying that an individual is ineligible for asylum in the U.S. if they came through another safe third-party country and did not seek protection there. This is the best way to ensure America has the resources to help those who truly suffer from political, racial, or religious persecution.

  • More funding alone would do more damage—dollars must be coupled with changes to the law to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent to actually secure the border. The Border Patrol needs more resources, but we must pair that funding with changes to the law to ensure that President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas can’t abuse taxpayer dollars to keep our border open. This means ending policies like “catch and release.”

  • Build the wall. Completing the border wall acts as a deterrent and reduces the number of illegal border crossings.

  • Amnesty undermines our border. Granting amnesty encourages and incentivizes even more illegal immigration. For this reason, any proposal for amnesty must be kept out of this bill.

Call Notes

My name is [NAME] and I am a constituent form [CITY, STATE].

I am calling to ask [MEMBER OF CONGRESS] to secure our nation’s borders and stop illegal immigration.

The situation at the border has become both a national security and humanitarian crisis and must be addressed immediately. Since he took office, Biden’s policy of “catch and release” has allowed over 7 Million illegal aliens to enter and remain in America.

The House passed H.R. 2, a robust border security bill that will:

  1. End Asylum Fraud

  2. End “catch and release”

  3. Finish the Border Wall

  4. Increase Border Patrol resources in conjunction with closing loopholes in the immigration system

The Senate should immediately consider H.R. 2. In addition to these four things, a border package must NOT provide amnesty in any form.

The Senate needs to finish what the House has started because it’s past time to secure the border.

Please tell [MEMBER OF CONGRESS] to put Americans first and support a ROBUST border security package.

Thank you for your time.

Social Posts (remember to insert the social handle of your member)

Tweet This:

.@[SENATOR], NOW is the time to take action and secure the border. Here’s how to do it:

Tweet This:

It’s time for the Senate to finish what House Republicans started by voting on the Secure the Border Act. @[SENATOR], please support a robust border security bill!

Tweet This:

The #BidenBorderCrisis has resulted in: -7 and a half million illegal aliens invading the U.S. -1.2 Million + known “got-aways” -250+ individuals on the terror watch list @[SENATOR], it’s time to secure the border.