Sen. John McCain lays out plan to fix border crisis

PHOENIX - Arizona Sen. John McCain didn't mince any words at a news conference held at his Phoenix office on Friday morning.

He said he has no interest in approving President Obama's $3.7 billion emergency proposal to fix the border crisis on the southern Texas border.

He thinks the only answer is to amend the Trafficking Victims Prevention Act that was passed in 2008. He believes the law is being misused by undocumented families arriving from Central America, since they're one of the areas protected by the law. It prevents children from being sent back to their home countries until court hearings take place -- those can take months, even years -- in an effort to curb human trafficking in the country.

"The President of the United States hasn't even asked that it be repealed. It's unbelievable and unconscionable," McCain said. 

He says the law needs to be amended or repealed in order to stop the influx of undocumented immigrants coming from Central America.

"The only way this is going to stop is if plane loads of children arrive back in the countries in Central America where they came from," said McCain.

In a statement from McCain's office, the Senator said he would like to amend or repeal the law with the following provisions:

1. Amend the Trafficking Victims Prevention Act (TVPA) to increase repatriation of undocumented children from non-contiguous countries. Amend the law passed in 2008 to equalize the treatment of unaccompanied alien children entering the United States from non-contiguous countries, including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, with those entering illegally from Mexico and Canada, to allow for swifter repatriation.
2. Allow for expedited removal of all undocumented immigrants that are stopped at the border attempting to enter the United States illegally, allowing law enforcement to return them to their home countries within a matter of hours or days as opposed to the months or years removal currently takes in most cases.
3. Require mandatory detention or the mandatory use of "alternatives to detention" like ankle monitors to ensure individuals waiting for their court dates actually appear to court.
4. Increase the number of immigration judges to hear cases and create a separate immigration docket to hear the cases of juveniles. Current backlogs in our immigration courts often result in one- to two-year wait times before cases are heard. 
5. Increase the number of refugee visas by 5,000 for each of El Salvador, Honduras, and Ecuador. This will encourage people to apply for status in their home country and avoid the long and dangerous journey through Mexico.
6. Condition foreign aid on countries' efforts to secure their borders and deter smuggling of children to the United States. Require the President to certify that Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador are doing everything they can to prevent the illegal migration of unaccompanied minors or risk losing foreign aid assistance.


He truly believes this will address the real problem and close, what he feels, is a dangerous loophole in the law.

"They're riding on the tops of the trains. We don't know how many fall off, are injured, or killed. So this is a humanitarian issue and a crisis," said McCain.

McCain's team said the Senator plans to take this to the Senate soon, but did not provide a timetable.

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