Enzi, Barrasso urge implementation of new pilot program to help secure southern border

Border fence / Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection / (MGN)
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (RELEASE) – U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., joined a bipartisan letter to the Administration urging it to implement a limited pilot program to test how authorities can more quickly and accurately determine whether migrants crossing the southern border have a valid claim to stay in the United States and return those who do not to their home countries.

As the country faces unprecedented challenges at our southern border with the number of family member units and unaccompanied children overwhelming the immigration system, a group of senators wrote that the pilot program, known as Operation Safe Return, would streamline the system of vetting those seeking to enter the United States.

“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.”

The letter was also signed by U.S. Senators James Lankford, R-Okla., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Joe Manchin, D-W.V., Doug Jones, D-Ala., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and John Cornyn, R-Texas.