What is House Bill H.R. 1958?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 1958
In-Depth: Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to allow the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide financial support to foreign governments to return individuals from outside the Western Hemisphere to their home country if they pose a national security threat to the U.S. When he introduced this bill in the 115th Congress, Rep. McCaul said:
“Known or Suspected Terrorists, wanted criminals, and other bad actors are exploiting illicit pathways throughout our hemisphere and racing towards our border. These individuals pose a serious threat to our national security and to the security of the countries they travel through. By empowering DHS with this authority, our foreign partners will be able to better identify, detain, and transport these dangerous individuals back to their country of origin. This legislation will extend our borders and increase our homeland security by addressing the threats well before they reach U.S. soil.”
Expressing its support for giving DHS repatriation authority in a November 2018 backgrounder, the Center for Immigration Studies noted, “Mexico, Panama, and several other common SIA transit countries practice catch-and-release of SIA migrants. This entails post-apprehension provision of food and medical attention for 10-21 days and then release with temporary legal status with an expectation that migrants will exit their countries northward — often with direct and indirect government assistance. These policies critically enable SIA smuggling and are actually incorporated into smuggling business models.”
This bill doesn’t have any cosponsors in the 116th Congress. It also didn’t have any cosponsors in the 115th Congress. While it hasn’t expressed explicit support for this bill, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has supported authorizing DHS repatriation authority as far back as November 2018.
Of Note: In January 2019, the House Homeland Security Committee released a report, “Stopping Terrorist Travel Through Illicit Paths to the Homeland,” containing 10 recommendations for mitigating the threat posed by special interest aliens (SIAs) in the U.S. Providing DHS with repatriation authority was among those recommendations:
“[T]he authority of U.S. entities to assist the repatriation of individuals from foreign countries is limited and unclear. As the department responsible for immigration and removal, DHS does not have authority to provide foreign assistance; and, as the department responsible for foreign assistance, DOS does not have the authority to fund operational activities such as repatriation and removal. Congress should therefore provide DHS the authority to give financial assistance to foreign partners to support the repatriation of individuals that impact the security of the United States. This will be a major tool for thwarting any potential threats before they reach the Homeland, while also improving security and decreasing migration flows throughout the Western Hemisphere. Additionally, while it will require additional funding on the front end to our regional partners, it will greatly reduce the amount of money spent on processing, detaining, and removing individuals after they reach our border.”
- Sponsoring Rep. Michael McCaul Press Release (115th Congress)
- House Homeland Security Committee Majority Staff Report - Stopping Terrorist Travel Through Illicit Pathways to the Homeland
- Center for Immigration Studies Backgrounder (Context / In Support)
- Center for Immigration Studies (Context)
Summary by Lorelei Yang(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Martijnvandernat)
Repatriation Assistance Act of 2019
To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to authorize provision to a foreign government of financial assistance for foreign country operations to address individuals who may pose a national security, border security, or terrorist threat to the United States before such a threat reaches the United States, and for other purposes.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
- The house has not voted
Border Security, Facilitation, and OperationsCommittee on Foreign AffairsIntroducedMarch 28th, 2019
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