NATION: Congressman Jeff Duncan on separating immigrant families And Response w-Update

UPDATE - TODAY - Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03) released the following statement regarding the “Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation” executive order: “President Trump just signed an executive order that will allow illegal immigrant families to remain together in U.S. custody during the entirety of their immigration proceedings. I applaud the President for taking this action, the exact same policy that I advocated for legislatively earlier in the week. This is important because it essentially ends the deeply flawed "catch-and-release" program that caused the government to release many of the illegal immigrants caught entering the United States. Under the old system, sometimes as many as 90% of people arrested for illegally entering the United States were released under the promise that they would return for their court hearing, only for them never to show up. “Unfortunately, a legal precedent that prevents illegal immigrant families from being detained for more than 20 days (the reason why the President’s original policy was not written this way), will likely mean that this is only a temporary fix, and that permanent legislative changes will need to be made. There have already been legislative fixes to this issue filed in Congress, like H.R. 6134 by Congressman Mark Meadows (NC-11) which I strongly support. This legislation needs to be voted on quickly to ensure that we are not abdicating important policy decisions to the courts. “I strongly support the President on this action, which I believe achieves the proper balance between enforcement and common sense.”

NATION: Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-3rd District-Laurens County) Facebook post about separating immigrant families:  


Before I shared my personal thoughts on the situation on the southern border, I wanted to post yesterday’s article providing background on what is really happening. I felt it was important because when celebrities and late night talk show hosts decide to weigh in on policy issues, they tend to spout more propaganda than facts, and leave out some very important details in the process. 

Based on what I shared, you now know that the government's policy is not to separate parents from their children for the sake of separating them. The policy is to enforce the law for what happens when someone commits a crime, and yes, illegally crossing into the United States is a crime and should remain that way.

We also know based on the facts that illegal immigrant families can only be detained together for 20 days before they have to be released into the interior of the United States. They are released with a promise that they will return for their court date, however, at times as many as 90% of those requesting asylum never show up for their hearing and become fugitives. While some don’t want to take their chances in court, many others skip their hearings because their asylum requests were fraudulent to begin with. That is why continuing “catch-and-release” policies that reward illegal behavior and result in open borders is a non-starter.

Our broken immigration system is responsible for creating this difficult choice before us: either separate illegal immigrant families at the border and keep them in custody until it can be determined whether they qualify for asylum, or incentivize them to risk the lives of their children (or trafficked children) so they can be used as human "get out of jail free cards."

However, President Trump and I believe there should be a third choice. President Trump himself has said that there needs to be a better option IN LAW that allows for families to stay together while enforcing the law, protecting American sovereignty, preventing illegal immigrants from being released into our communities, and sending a strong signal to illegal immigrants not to break our laws.

I believe the solution is simple: continue to prosecute illegal immigrant parents for breaking the law by illegally coming into this country, but allow families to remain together in a family setting while under U.S. custody during their asylum consideration. Because the courts have ruled that families can be held for no more than 20 days, we need to double or triple the number of current immigration judges and require that all asylum cases be adjudicated within that time so the family can be either be deported or released in a timely manner. Considering that a significant portion of all asylum cases are fraudulent, changes in our asylum laws also need to be made so that gangs like MS-13 are unable to exploit loopholes in our immigration system. We also need to make sure that lawbreakers aren't able to circumvent the legal immigration process, and that those seeking asylum are doing so, not by sneaking across our southern border, but rather at an official port of entry like a border crossing.

These are the common sense reforms that President Trump has called for and they are far from controversial. Senator Cruz and Congressman Meadows have filed narrow bills that would cover much of what I described above. Now the question is - do Members of Congress really care about securing the border, combating illegal immigration, and keeping families together- or do they want this crisis to continue for selfish political reasons?




CHALLENGER’S RESPONSE: SC-3 Candidate Mary Geren’s Statement in Response to Jeff Duncan’s Comments on the Ongoing Immigration Crisis along the Texas Border


Anderson - Jeff Duncan has weighed in on the ongoing immigration crisis happening along the southern border of the United States and is continuing to live up to his nickname - ‘Do Nothing Duncan’. As usual, Jeff is blaming others instead when he has had 8 years to find common sense and humane immigration solutions. The current human rights atrocities go against the ethical, religious, and humane beliefs held by many District 3 residents. 

Instead of doing right by these innocent children and working to protect them, Jeff Duncan continues to offer mere lip service rather than taking action. The ‘zero-tolerance’ policy that was rolled out in April by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is leading to thousands of children being separated from their parents immediately upon their detection. The power to change this policy lies with Congress, and while Jeff blames celebrities and late night talk show hosts, he’s failing to acknowledge that Republicans control BOTH parties of Congress and the White House; meaning that they could immediately end this practice of separating families immediately, which is not a partisan issue. 

Jeff, as a mother, I implore you to stop with the partisan rhetoric and fear-mongering. There are many points in this immigration debate of which we may disagree, but the fact is you and your colleagues in Congress have the power to pass a law that protects these children and by continuing to be ‘Do Nothing Duncan, ‘ you are complacent for the psychological, emotional and mental damage being done to these children, these babies. A real leader, the kind I intend to be in Washington, would examine this situation and understand our duty to protect children instead of continuing to ‘Do Nothing’.


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