Accounts that U.S. border officials are facing a surge of Mexican immigrants claiming asylum by using a few key words prompted a top Republican senator to call for the pending immigration bill to be put on hold “until these abuses are ended.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., one of the most vocal critics of the comprehensive immigration overhaul being pushed on Capitol Hill, said the surge in asylum requests “has exposed another grave flaw” in the implementation of federal immigration law.
Documents obtained by Fox News show Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been paying for hotel rooms for dozens of recently arrived families to relieve overcrowding at processing centers in the San Diego area. Some ICE employees are working overtime and others have been asked to volunteer to work weekend shifts.
Sessions pointed to the wave of asylum requests in arguing that, while the Senate has already passed an immigration bill, the House should not proceed until the issue is addressed.
“The House cannot allow such actions to continue,” Sessions told FoxNews.com in a written statement. “They must use every power they have to end this absurdity. No immigration bill should advance until these abuses are ended.”
Sessions, as well as the unions representing some immigration officials, have made similar arguments before about other alleged enforcement gaps — like the practice of not deporting illegal immigrants accused of low-level offenses. They claim the bill, as drafted in the Senate, does not address these gaps.