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Congress’s Immigration Proposals: Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018

By June 21, 2018April 1st, 2021Immigration, News
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The House of Representatives will vote on two broad immigration proposals on Thursday, neither of which are likely to pass. Below is a summary of the second of two proposals.

Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018

Introduced by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018 is considered to be a “moderate” alternative to the Securing America’s Future Act.

Border Security

The Ryan Bill appropriates $23.4 billion funding to construct a boarder wall and infrastructure along the Southern Border. This fund includes money for security, technology, and roadways. It also authorizes National Guard troops at the border including biometric entry-exit systems for all entry ports. Customs and Border Protection will have funds to hire an additional 5,000 agents.

However, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement will receive no additional funding, no technological improvements, no enhanced authorities, no new detention facilities, and no new human resources.

Unaccompanied minors, children whose parents are apprehended at the border for illegal crossings, will be safely and quickly returned to their parents and the Act will allow minors to be detained with their parents.


On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced the end of the DACA program, an Obama era executive order that provided certain benefits to some individuals who illegally came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday. To learn more about the DACA program please click here. Under this Act, individuals who received deferred action will get a 6-year renewable legal status allowing them to work and travel overseas that can be renewed indefinitely.

Eventually, young people under the age of 31 who have been in the country since at least June 2007, could be award green cards based on a point system. The point system prioritizes education, English language proficiency, military service, and continued employment. After successful application for a green card, these individuals can apply for citizen as is the situation under current law for those with permanent legal status. According to research by the CATO Institute, only about 18% of current Dreamers will qualify for this visa. This new visa program is also entirely contingent on the $23.4 billion border security funding being fully provided.

Legal Immigration

Several legal immigration methods will be terminated including the Diversity Visa. Family immigration, or “Chain Migration” as the administration has pejoratively named it, will be limited only to spouses and minor children, with married adult children and adult siblings of U.S. citizens notably erased. This Bill will also eliminate the 3 million individuals waiting in line to receive a family based visa, some of whom have been waiting for over 2 decades.

The “credible fear” standards for asylum claims will be tightened to root out frivolous claims and penalties for fraud will be increased. Individuals who have applied for asylum but voluntarily returns home will have their applications automatically terminated.

Immigration Detainers

This bill would attacks the sovereignty of Sanctuary Cities, making it mandatory for jurisdictions to honor ICE immigration detainers and transfer the detainee to DHS custody. Under this bill, victims of crimes and their family members can sue a jurisdiction where the perpetrator was the subject of a detainer that was not honored by that jurisdiction.

This bill is currently a proposal and unlikely to pass in Congress.

Edit on June 27, 2018: This bill has been defeated in the House of Representatives 121 to 301.

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