Arizona Republican Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) introduced legislation Thursday to amend a 2008 trafficking law to allow for the expedited removal of certain unaccompanied illegal immigrant children from noncontiguous countries.
Salmon’s bill, the Expedited Family Reunification Act, would change the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 to accomplish two goals.
First, the legislation would provide immigration officers the ability to quickly remove unaccompanied minors from Central America and other countries deemed appropriate by the Homeland Security secretary.
Second, it would guarantee that the unaccompanied illegal immigrant children would be able to get an immigration hearing if there is “credible evidence” a reason for a hearing exists, such as trafficking or abuse.
The bill is intended “[t]0 amend the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 to provide for the expedited removal of unaccompanied alien children who are not victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons and who do not have a fear of returning to their country of nationality or last habitual residence, and for other purposes,” the legislation reads.
Salmon is a member of House Speaker John Boehner’s working group on the border crisis, led by Texas Republican Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX).
His bill comes as many lawmakers point to the 2008 law as ripe for revision, given the current crisis of unaccompanied minors from Central America streaming across the southwest border.
Indeed, this week Granger said the 2008 law is one of the issues the working group is looking to revise in its meetings.
A Salmon spokesman told Breitbart News that Salmon drafted the Expedited Family Reunification Act before he was appointed to the group.
Since October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied minors have been apprehended crossing the border illegally. The vast majority of the unaccompanied minors are from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.