Hoeven Supporting Two Bills to Keep Families Together, While Enforcing the Law

WASHINGTON – Senator Hoeven today announced that he is cosponsoring two pieces of legislation that would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to keep families together as their immigration proceedings move forward.

“No one wants to see children separated from their parents,” said Hoeven. “That’s why I am supporting two pieces of legislation that require DHS to keep families together, while enforcing our immigration laws. We’re a nation of laws, but also a compassionate nation, and these bills ensure that we uphold these standards.”

Yesterday, the senator joined Senator Ted Cruz in introducing the Protect Kids and Parents Act. Today, the senator helped to introduce the Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act, which was sponsored by Senator Thom Tillis.  

The Protect Kids and Families Act will: 

  • Double the number of federal immigration judges, from roughly 375 to 750.
  • Authorize new temporary shelters, with accommodations to keep families together.
  • Mandate that immigrant families be kept together, absent aggravated criminal conduct or threat of harm to the children.
  • Provide for expedited processing and review of asylum cases, so that—within 14 days—those who meet the legal standards will be granted asylum, and those who do not will be immediately returned to their home countries.

The Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act will:

  • Require DHS to keep immigrant families together at family residential centers pending the outcome of their civil or criminal immigration proceedings.
  • Protect migrant children from trafficking and abuse by requiring that a child be removed from an individual who presents a clear danger to the health and safety of the child. 
  • Authorize at least 225 new immigration judges.
  • Authorize DHS to increase the number of family residential beds by at least 1,000.