Special to the
Sen. Doug Jones has joined a bipartisan group of senators in sending letters to President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan and Attorney Gen. William Barr to urge the implementation of “Operation Safe Return” – a pilot program that uses existing law and authorities to rapidly, accurately and fairly determine and process credible fear claims. This is a first bipartisan step in trying to address the current crisis at the Southern border.
“We write to urge you to use authorities in use as of June 30, 2019, to implement Operation Safe Return, a pilot program to rapidly, accurately, and fairly determine those families who have crossed the southern border that clearly do not have a valid legal claim and safely return them to their home countries,” the senators wrote. “Through this program, we expect that we can meet our commitments to humanitarian protections while ensuring proper efficiency, timeliness, order, and fairness in the credible fear screening process. We also expect that Operation Safe Return will help us examine current process deficiencies, identify required increases in capacity, and understand the drivers of migration.”
Sen. Jones said the following about the letter: “It’s clear that there is a true humanitarian crisis happening at our southern border, and implementing Operation Safe Return is a good bipartisan step forward to address some of the most pressing challenges our immigration system faces today. This program would help make sure that the process at our border is as humane and efficient as possible.”
In addition to Senator Jones, the letter was signed by Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), James Lankford (R-Okla.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas).