#Bipartisan House Foreign Affairs Committee Proposes #Immigration Changes – Addresses Border, but Sets Up Fight

#TBO
Source: Wikimedia

The Press Release of the proposal is near the bottom.

This proposed legislation is what could be referred to as hardball politics. The bill does address the problem with some helpful tools, but at the cost of administrative power; as an example

TOOL:

  • Puts in place targeted visa bans and asset freezes on individuals who are determined to be engaged in acts of corruption impacting the Northern Triangle countries.

COST:

  • Requires advance notification to Congress on security assistance to Northern Triangle countries, regardless of the dollar amount for the following three years.

The bill by enlarge introduces congressional micro-management into a proposed solution with such ideas.

However, Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) has been one of the few Democrats to take his job – at least visually seriously. In the space of about 2 weeks, he made a 180º change in attitude. When the #MSM and the #RINOs called it a “fake emergency” on

March 14 the good Rep tweeted

When even members of the @SenateGOP admit it’s a fake emergency….

it’s a fake emergency. Eliot Engel added,

After Visiting the border on

March 31 the good Rep tweeted it was a “humanitarian crisis”

At El Paso detention facilities today looking at the humanitarian crisis at our Southern border. Children and families in overcrowded conditions.

We must treat people seeking refuge in the U.S. with dignity and respect.


Press release by House Foreign Affairs Committee

Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), the Committee’s Chairman, today introduced the United States-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act, which supports the people of Central America and strengthens U.S. national security by addressing the root causes of migration from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Representatives Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Francis Rooney (R-FL), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security and Trade, are original co-sponsors of the legislation along with Representatives Norma Torres (D-CA) and Ann Wagner (R-MO), the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Central America Caucus, and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX).

(Statement by Ranking Member McCaul)

(Statement by Chairman Engel)

The United States–Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act authorizes $577 million in foreign assistance to Central America for Fiscal Year 2020 and includes conditions on any assistance that goes to the central governments of the Northern Triangle countries. It reasserts congressional intent by not permitting authorized funds to be reprogrammed, transferred or rescinded. The bill also lays out a series of actions to be taken by the Secretary of State, the Administrator of USAID and other U.S. government officials to promote inclusive economic growth and development, combat corruption, strengthen democratic institutions and improve security conditions in the Northern Triangle.

Full text of the bill can be found here.

Specifically, the United States – Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act does the following:

  • Authorizes $577 million in foreign assistance to Central America to address the root causes of migration in Fiscal Year 2020. The legislation does not permit newly authorized funds to be reprogrammed, transferred or rescinded. It includes conditions on any assistance going to the central governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
  • Requires State and USAID to develop and report to Congress on annual benchmarks to track the progress of the strategy in addressing the drivers of irregular migration.
  • Requires the Secretary of State and USAID Administrator to prioritize inclusive economic growth and development, anticorruption, and strengthening democratic institutions and security conditions in the Northern Triangle. Multi-year strategies and annual progress reports are required in each area. The designation of a Senior Rule of Law Advisor for the Northern Triangle in the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs is also mandated as is a feasibility study on the establishment of an Investment Fund for the Northern Triangle countries and southern Mexico by the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.
  • Puts in place targeted visa bans and asset freezes on individuals who are determined to be engaged in acts of corruption impacting the Northern Triangle countries. This includes private citizens, public officials and individuals residing outside of the Northern Triangle who are involved in corruption in these countries.
  • Enhances engagement with the Mexican government on the Northern Triangle. The Secretary of State and various executive branch agencies are required to support development efforts in southern Mexico and strengthen security cooperation with regard to Mexico’s shared border with Guatemala and Belize.
  • Requires advance notification to Congress on security assistance to Northern Triangle countries, regardless of the dollar amount for the following three years.


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