In less than one week, Congress is scheduled to head out of session for their month long August recess. In an effort to fix the border crisis before leaving town, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham held a legislation markup session today on his bill to close asylum loopholes. These loopholes are driving massive fraud, emboldening human smugglers and fueling the current disaster on the border.
Here's what the 11-page long legislation, which was introduced in May, does:
The Graham legislation closes the gaps in current law that have led to an escalating number of immigrants traveling to the border.— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) May 15, 2019
Highlights of Graham’s legislation include: pic.twitter.com/b4JKOn5Oz0
But Democrats refused to show up to the markup session today in an effort to delay any kind of solution to fix the problem.
"Today, only one Senate Judiciary Committee Democrat, the ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-California), showed up to the Committee meeting to consider legislation Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has introduced, the Secure and Protect Act of 2019," Graham's office released in a statement Thursday afternoon. "Under Committee rules, business cannot be transacted unless there are two members present from the minority. The Democrats’ refusal to attend is designed to prevent the legislation from coming to a vote in committee. Chairman Graham pledged to confront the delay, bring the bill up again next week, and force a committee vote."
Graham expressed frustration about a lack of leadership from lawmakers on the Committee and stated previous legislation on illegal immigration isn't suited to fix the current crisis.
“I was informed that Senator Feinstein would be the only Democrat at today’s meeting," Graham said. “Despite this attempted delay, we will vote on this legislation next week.”
“I went to the southern border,” continued Graham. “We have had a hearing. We know what we need to do. Somebody is going to lead around here to change the laws and it will be this Committee," he continued. "I am not looking for a political solution. I’m looking for a real solution. The  ‘Gang of Eight’ bill will not fix this problem."
In the meantime, Border Patrol agents continue to do their jobs despite being overwhelmed as a result of inaction from Congress.
Although the number of people in our custody has decreased, I reminded Congress yesterday that the crisis is not over. pic.twitter.com/6DNby1v6Rf— USBPChief (@USBPChief) July 25, 2019
Border Patrol agents in NM arrested a group of 88 illegal aliens Friday, including a father with an outstanding warrant for rape of a child under the age of 14 and aggravated kidnapping. The man arrived with his minor child. Details via @CBPWestTexas ?? https://t.co/E16RT5tyzy pic.twitter.com/4XxzhR9fdn— CBP (@CBP) July 25, 2019