WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today said that Majority Leader Harry Reid’s refusal to allow amendments to S. 2363, the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, is slowing efforts to address the crisis at the Southwest border.
Boozman was referring specifically to an amendment filed by Senator Jeff Flake(R-AZ) that would change the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 to put the treatment of unaccompanied minors illegally entering the United States from noncontiguous countries, including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador on par with those entering illegally from Mexico and Canada.
As a cosponsor of the amendment, Boozman said he is disappointed that Majority Leader Reid continued to “play political games” with bills on the Senate floor, even in instances when he and his colleagues were seeking to give the President authorities that he requested.
“An unintended consequence of this otherwise well-intended law makes it more difficult to return the unaccompanied minors here illegally to their home countries. We need to correct this portion of the law. The President even has acknowledged this and asked for us to address it, yet Majority Leader Reid continues his gamesmanship to block GOP amendments. A crisis of this magnitude is not the time for political games,” Boozman said.
As a result of Majority Leader Reid’s refusal to allow amendments, cloture was not agreed to for S. 2363.
Boozman said he will continue to work with his colleagues to seek ways to add flexibility to this law, while pursuing additional ways to resolve the crisis and prevent future waves of unaccompanied minors from illegally crossing our borders.
“The children need to be taken care of while in the U.S., but returned to their own countries as soon as possible. Certainty of return is the only way we stop this wave,” Boozman said. “In order to be able to do that, these requirements must be rewritten so we can accelerate the deportation process for those to whom the law was never meant to apply to. Majority Leader Reid continues to drag out this crisis when we need to act.”