In recent years, the U.S. has seen a surge in the number of migrants and asylum seekers at its borders, which has strained existing border security and immigration systems. The Secure the Border Act of 2023 aims to change immigration law by enforcing stricter controls and limitations on immigration, impacting asylum seekers, migrant children, employers, and individuals overstaying visas, among other provisions. It has passed in the GOP-led House, communicating its views on signature policy, but it has had little discussion in the Democrat-led Senate and the Biden administration has threatened to veto the act. Republican senators now also want to pair the bill with additional aid to Ukraine and other U.S. allies. Those who support the policies included in the act describe it as a necessary response to improve national security and will help modernize border security infrastructure. Those arguing against it are concerned about the humanitarian impact of stricter border controls, particularly on vulnerable populations, and question the high cost and effectiveness of physical barriers and increased enforcement.
With this background, we debate the question: Should Congress Pass the Secure the Border Act?
Arguing Yes: Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies
Arguing No: Kristie De Peña, Senior Vice President for Policy and Director of Immigration Policy at Niskanen Center
Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates