WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., has cosponsored the “Protect Kids and Parents Act.” The legislation, introduced by Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, would mandate that illegal immigrant families be kept together while seeking asylum in the United States. The bill would also provide expedited processing so that families who meet the legal criteria could stay and those who do not will be returned to their home countries within 14 days.
“President Trump has called on Congress to change immigration laws to prevent children of illegal immigrants from being separated from their parents,” Wicker said. “This practice is so painful because we cannot imagine being separated from our own children. The legislation I cosponsored would keep families together and help remove the backlog of pending asylum cases, which are overwhelming our judicial system and keeping too many claims in limbo. These reforms are needed so that we can move beyond this issue and focus on the many other challenges facing our immigration system, including the need for strong border security.”
The “Protect Kids and Parents Act” would require families of illegal immigrants to be kept together except in specific circumstances, including the threat of harm or abuse to the child, or evidence that the child is a victim of human trafficking.
The legislation would provide expedited processing and review of the cases of undocumented individuals with children within 14 days. The bill would double the number of federal immigration judges to 750. These new judges would prioritize processing claims of individuals with children.
The bill would also authorize new family shelters so that children could remain with their parents while their claims are being processed.