WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, and U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) on Wednesday sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to request the agency expedite processing Notices to Appear (NTA). With a growing number of people coming to the U.S.-Mexico border and Title 42 set to expire next week, Murphy and Lankford are pushing the administration to take immediate steps to improve the immigration system.
“We write to you today to request that you take appropriate steps to expedite the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTA) to noncitizens who are in US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody. Additionally, we request that you seriously consider exercising your authority under 8 C.F.R. § 2.1 to authorize Border Patrol Processing Coordinators (BPCC) and other appropriate law enforcement support staff to issue a NTA to individuals subject to removal pursuant to immigration laws. We believe permitting BPPC, after proper training and with supervisor approval, to issue NTAs while noncitizens are in the physical custody of CBP, would save resources for DHS and ultimately strengthen security on our borders as more Border Patrol Agents are able to swiftly return to the field,” the senators wrote.
The senators continued, “In light of these concerns, we believe that the Department should prioritize the expeditious issuance of NTAs, particularly as it is preparing for the unwinding of the Title 42 order.”
Earlier this year, Murphy and Lankford traveled on a bipartisan delegation to the Southwest border to learn about the security, humanitarian, and economic challenges facing border communities as well as asylum seekers. The delegation met with local law enforcement, community leaders, and non-profits that accept and care for asylum seekers leaving CBP custody.
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