Republicans release 12 recommendations to address border crisis

The House Republicans released a dozen recommendations on Wednesday that are meant to reduce the unprecedented number of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border to come…

In this July 8, 2013 file photo, House Speaker John Boehner (left), incoming Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers exit the House side of the U.S. Capitol to walk down the steps for a news conference. On Wednesday, House Republicans unveiled a list of recommendations aimed at reducing the number of unaccompanied minors coming to the U.S. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The House Republicans released a dozen recommendations on Wednesday that are meant to reduce the unprecedented number of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border to come to the United States.

The recommendations include amending the 2008 anti-trafficking law to treat all children from Central America the same as those from Mexico or Canada. This would require unaccompanied minors who don’t wish to be voluntarily returned to their home country to be placed under the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services until they get an immigration court hearing, which must occur no more than seven days after they’re screened by child welfare officials.

The recommendations also include deploying National Guard troops to the border and hiring additional judges to expedite immigration court hearings.

SEE ALSO: John Boehner: Obama is ‘jeopardizing’ ability to solve border crisis

Last month, House Speaker John Boehner put together a GOP working group to come up with the recommendations and assigned Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) to lead the group. The recommendations were announced Wednesday during a closed-door Republican meeting.

House Republicans want to include the recommendations in a border bill that’s expected to cost $1.5 billion and will be offset by spending cuts. Their bill, which they intent to pass before leaving for the August recess, is much less than the $3.7 billion that President Barack Obama requested to deal with the unaccompanied minors crisis. It is also less than the $2.7 billion that Democrats want to spend.

But for Republicans, getting their border bill passed won’t be easy given that Democrats are already voicing their opposition to some of the 12 recommendations made by the GOP working group. For example, Democrats oppose amending the 2008 law and believe that sending National Guard troops to the border is the wrong approach to respond to the humanitarian crisis at the border.

Here are the 12 recommendations made by the GOP working group:

1. Deploy National Guard troops to the southern border to assist Border Patrol in the humanitarian care and needs of unaccompanied minors. 

National Guard, Border Patrol

In this April 19, 2011, file photo, a member of the National Guard checks on his colleague inside a Border Patrol Skybox near the Hidalgo International Bridge in Hidalgo, Texas. (AP Photo/Delcia Lopez, File)

2. Prohibit the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture from denying or restricting U.S. Customs and Border Protection activities on federal land.


In this Sept. 28, 2010 photo, a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent drives along the international border fence near Nogales, Arizona. (AP Photo/Matt York)

3. Require the Department of Homeland Security to come up with a strategy and implementation plan to gain operational control of the Southwest border.

Jeh Johnson

House Republicans want Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and his agency to come up with a plane to secure the border. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

4. Establish an independent third party commission to develop border security metrics as a means to accurately gauge progress on border security.


In this Aug. 15, 2010, file photo, Border Patrol agents drive along the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Hereford, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

5. Establish border security in Central American countries and Mexico. 

Joe Biden, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, Otto Perez Molina

(From left to right) Vice President Joe Biden, El Salvador’s President Salvador Sanchez Ceren and Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina stand together before a photo opportunity at the National Palace in Guatemala City on Friday, June 20, 2014. They discussed how the U.S. can work with Central America to stem the flood of unaccompanied minors. (AP Photo/Luis Soto)

6. Establish repatriation centers in originating countries in order to facilitate the return of families and unaccompanied minors.

unaccompanied minors

Maria Eva Casco, left, and her son Christian Casco of El Salvador, sit at at the Greyhound bus terminal on Thursday, May 29, 2014, in Phoenix. About 400 mostly Central American women and children caught crossing from Mexico into south Texas were flown to Arizona that weekend after border agents there ran out of space and resources. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

7. Deploy aggressive messaging campaigns to dispel immigration myths, clarify that individuals will be deported and advise on the dangers and legal penalties of entering the U.S. illegally.

crisis at the border and unaccompanied children

This is one of the billboards that will go up in Central America as part of a campaign by the Obama administration to discourage unaccompanied minors from coming to the U.S. House Republicans want to implement a similar campaign. (Photo by U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

8. Mandate the detention of all families apprehended at the border with the ultimate goal of processing families within 5-7 days. 

Crisis at the border

A young migrant girl waits for a freight train to depart on her way to the U.S. border in Ixtepec, Mexico, on Saturday, July 12, 2014. The number of unaccompanied minors detained along the U.S. southern border has more than tripled since 2011. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

9. Amend the Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act of 2008 so all unaccompanied minors are treated the same as those from Mexico or Canada for the purpose of removals. 

unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. border

Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Brownsville, Texas. House Republicans want Central American children to be treated the same as those from Mexico or Canada to expedite removals. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, Pool)

10. Deploy additional judge teams and temporary judges to expedite the hearing of asylum and credible fear claims.

immigration judges

House Republicans are calling for additional judges to address the asylum and credible fear claims made by unaccompanied minors. (Shutterstock)

11. Establish tough penalties for those engaged in human smuggling, including the smuggling of unaccompanied minors, by strengthening penalties for human smugglers and those who assist them.

Border Patrol

House Republicans want tougher penalties for those involved in human smuggling. (Flickr/U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Josh Denmark)

12. Increase law enforcement operations domestically and in originating countries to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations and encourage originating countries to pass strict laws against human smuggling. 

El Salvador, gang

In this July 22, 2012 photo, inmates belonging to a Salvadoran gang known as M-18 gang stand inside the prison in Quezaltepeque, El Salvador. That gang and its rival, MS-13, are considered transnational criminal organizations. (AP Photo/Luis Romero)