Senate Republicans Have a New Plan for Border Policy

A group of Senate Republicans is shopping a new proposal to their colleagues that would address the Trump administration’s family-separation policy. The effort, led by North Carolina’s Thom Tillis, would alter the 1997 Flores settlement by requiring that children remain with their parents who cross the border with Meixco illegally, said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who is working alongside Tillis. The yet-to-be-introduced bill would provide funding for as many as 225 new immigration judges in order to expedite court proceedings for migrants seeking asylum. The proposal also increases detention space by around 1,000, Flake said. “We’re all reaching out to Democrats. We’re not looking to just have a bill for cover. We’re trying to pass something,” Flake told The Daily Beast. On Wednesday morning, Tillis was conferring on the Senate floor with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who introduced legislation that only addresses the Justice Department’s family-separation policy, which drew intense bipartisan backlash before being revoked through executive order on Wednesday. All 49 Senate Democratic caucus members support Feinstein’s bill, but Democrats argue that Trump should not be asking Congress to change the policy that his administration implemented. Flake noted that the success of any legislative fix hinges on President Trump’s willingness to engage with lawmakers. “The problem is, when the president says that he supports something, we don’t know how fleeting that is. We’ve been through this. We’ve seen this movie before,” Flake added. —Andrew Desiderio

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