A border security proposal from Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) that has already prompted fierce criticism on the right is included in the forthcoming proposal from a working group of lawmakers appointed by Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), according to Rep. John Carter (R-TX), a member of the group.
“On the issue of border security, their bill has the McCaul’s border security bill in it,” Carter told Breitbart News in an interview, adding that it would also deploy the National Guard to the border.
The inclusion of the McCaul bill is likely to prompt conflict between Boehner and immigration hard-liners.
The main criticism of the McCaul bill is it requires the administration to forge a plan to secure the border, rather than requiring concrete steps in the bill to secure the border. Giving the administration time to craft such a plan might provide cover for a larger immigration reform bill, critics warn, even as the border remains unsecure in the meantime.
A Homeland Security aide said “This bill addresses distrust of the administration. The strategy must be developed after consultation with the ‘stakeholders’ which include border sheriffs and land owners who know the border best.”
The working group, led by Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), sent policy recommendations to Boehner Thursday night. Aides were currently drafting legislative text Friday to match the policies it sets out.
Carter introduced his own bill today that would amend a 2008 law being cited as creating hurdles to deporting the tens of thousands of illegal alien children streaming across the southern U.S. border.
Referring to a proposal from Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Rep. Henry Cueller (D-TX), Carter said “my bill may be a little bit more law-and-order. But Cornyn-Cueller bill is a good bill.”
The working group’s legislation also addresses the issue, Carter said. “All the policy things that they want I agree with. I probably would fix a few things that they’re not addressing.”
Carter, who spent years negotiating in secret with a group of Republicans and Democrats to forge a major bipartisan immigration accord, rejected the notion that the absence of such a deal had caused the current border crisis.
“The bottom issue, whether people like it or not, is this is not going to work if we don’t rapidly turn these people away at the border and send them back where they came from. I try to streamline the procedures in every way I can to rapidly turn them around. At the point in time when we can process half or better of them back almost immediately, they haven’t overwhelmed the system. Right now, because of a lot of roadblocks in this law…if they get into the hands of HHS, they probably disappear forever,” Carter said.
Congress needs to act urgently, Carter said.
“It’s an invasion, quite honestly, between Brownsville and McAllen,” Carter said, referring to two Texas cities on the U.S.-Mexico border.