U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is supporting legislation to address the humanitarian and national security border crisis.
He has co-sponsored the bipartisan Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency (HUMANE) Act, authored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).
"We must act to address the humanitarian and national security crisis on the Southwest border," said Sen. Toomey in a news release.
"Already, tens of thousands of unaccompanied children have been brought into the United States -- at great risk -- by human traffickers, while federal resources are being overwhelmed.
"The administration is looking for billions of dollars to resettle tens of thousands of migrants across the country without addressing the cause of this mass migration.
"In contrast, the bipartisan Cornyn-Cueller bill will help end this crisis by reuniting children with their families back home and eliminating the incentives for parents to continue to send their children north.
"By working across the aisle, I believe we can humanely address this situation, but it will require us to start fixing the immigration policies that are causing it."
The senator, who resides in Lehigh County, said the HUMANE Act would:
* Reform the law so that Central American children are quickly returned and reunited with their families back home just as children from Mexico or Canada are today;
*Provide a safe, expedited method for returning unaccompanied children to their families abroad, one that ensures the child has not been the victim of sex trafficking;
* Ensures the child does not have a legitimate asylum claim;
* Order the Justice Department to devote 40 immigration judges-new hires or existing judges-to hearing cases related to these unaccompanied children;
* Ensure that children are not inadvertently turned over to a predator by requiring the Department of Health and Human services to conduct a background check on any person claiming a child;
* Enhance border security resources.