Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) joined Sen. Ted Cruz (R-FL) in introducing the Keeping International Land Ports of Entry Open Act to prevent the closure of commercial ports of entry late last week.
Senator Scott’s bill responds to President Joe Biden’s administration’s decision to shut down certain commercial ports of entry to allegedly combat illegal immigration and trafficking.
The ports of entry were shut after Department of Homeland Security (DHS) staff were diverted from processing commercial goods to enforcing immigration law.
Scott and colleagues have accused President Biden of prioritizing processing illegal immigrants over lawful commerce.
“Democrats do not care about border security, and everything that the Biden administration does proves that fact to the American people,” said Scott.
Democrats don't care about border security, and everything that the Biden administration does proves it.
We must do everything possible to force Joe Biden to secure the border and limit his ability to make stupid decisions that hurt U.S. trade. https://t.co/xHBMwwoRAF
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) February 9, 2024
If passed, the bill would prohibit transferring DHS staff from a port of entry (POE) along the southwest border if the transfer adversely impacts commercial trade processing at that POE.
“We must do everything possible to force Joe Biden to secure the border and limit his ability to make stupid decisions that hurt U.S. trade,” continued Scott.
The bill also stipulates that any staff transfers must be immediately replaced.
However, exceptions for staff transfers exist in the case transfers are necessary to actively engage in physical detentions to secure the border.
Additionally, the DHS Secretary must notify Congress of a staff transfer no later than 24 hours after such transfer occurs and provide an explanation as to why the transfer was executed.
Finally, public notice of the staff transfers for the benefit of trade participants who may be impacted by the transfer must also be provided no later than 24 hours following the transfer.
Democrats and Republicans have been feuding over the southwest border migratory crisis.
Last week, the Senate rejected a border security deal that would’ve offered more than $60 billion in aid to Ukraine and $14.1 billion to Israel, and funding for Taiwan as well.
According to CNN, the deal would still allow an influx of illegal immigrants into the country through the southern border but provide $20.23 billion for “operational needs and capabilities” and resources for the newly proposed border policies.