Two Texas lawmakers are teaming up on a bipartisan bill aimed at solving the border crisis. Sen. John Cornyn(R) and Congressman Henry Cuellar(http://cuellar.house.gov/) (D-Laredo) are introducing the HUMANE Act, with stands for Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency. The bill is aimed at speeding up the process for determining whether illegal immigrant minors qualify for asylum status under a 2008 law that protects human trafficking victims. Among other things, the bill would authorize additional federal judges to handle these cases, and would require judges to issue a ruling within 72 hours of hearing a claim.
Congressman Cuellar told Fox News this is about clearing up the massive backlog that is keeping the U.S. from taking action on these children. "All the Senator and I are trying to do is to give them a speedy trial date, have them before a judge as soon as possible, give them their asylum or whatever claim they have, and after that if they don't show they have a valid claim, then they have to be returned (to their home country.)"
Senator Cornyn echoed the main focus of the bill. "It would require expedited hearings before an immigration judge," he told Fox News. "That would determine if people have a valid claim to an immigration benefit, and if not they will be returned to their home country."
Some 57,000 migrant children from Central America have crossed the U.S. border since last October, and Congressman Cuellar estimates there is a backlog of 375,000 children now awaiting hearings to determine their legal status.