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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 6136 - Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018

June 27, 2018


(Rep. Goodlatte, R-VA, and 11 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 6136, the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018. Addressing illegal immigration has been one of President Donald J. Trump's top priorities since taking office. In October 2017, the Administration released its immigration policy priorities, and in January 2018, it released a four-pillar framework on immigration reform and border security: (1) securing the border and closing legal loopholes; (2) ending chain migration; (3) cancelling the visa lottery; and (4) addressing the status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) population in a responsible fashion.

President Trump has made it clear that we must secure our borders and close legal loopholes that prevent the prompt removal of those who cross the border illegally. The Administration encourages the Congress to provide resources needed for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to secure the border, including $25 billion for building a border wall system, investing in technology, and making other border security improvements. But building the wall is not enough. Current law and judicial interpretations hinder our efforts to remove aliens once they illegally cross our border, including mandating their release into the interior of the United States in certain cases. The Administration also calls on Congress to close these legal loopholes by authorizing the DHS to detain and remove illegal immigrants, including criminal aliens.

H.R. 6136 would close the legal loopholes that: (1) impede close cooperation with State and local law enforcement agencies; (2) prevent the detention and timely removal of unaccompanied children, families, and criminal aliens; and (3) enable asylum fraud. H.R. 6136 would also appropriate nearly $25 billion for DHS to secure the border.

The Administration favors a system of merit-based immigration that admits people who can support our economy and actively contribute to society. The Administration has called for ending the visa lottery program, which selects individuals at random to come to the United States without consideration of skills or merit. H.R. 6136 would end the visa lottery program and would begin moving toward a merit-based system for admission. H. R. 6136 would also reduce extended-family chain migration by removing family preference categories for siblings and adult married children.

H.R. 6136 would allow eligible DACA recipients to apply for contingent nonimmigrant status and obtain work and educational authorizations, renewable every six years. Additionally, the bill would permit recipients of this status to apply for lawful permanent residency after five years, ultimately providing a path to citizenship, as part of a broader non-special pathway. This is a responsible approach.

Overall, the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018 would support the Administration's goals of securing the border, closing legal loopholes, moving to a system of merit-based immigration, and providing a responsible solution to DACA.

If H.R. 6136 were presented to the President, his advisors would recommend that he sign it into law.

Donald J. Trump, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 6136 - Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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