Senate bill prompts border control discussions

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BYU faculty and students shared their thoughts on H.R. 815, a bill released by the Senate.

The bill was released early February and will enforce tougher immigration and asylum laws in response to the record high number of border crossings.

The $118 billion bill will use approximately $20 billion for improvements to border security.

Professor David-James Gonzales teaches U.S. history at BYU. He shared his opinion on these topics.

“There has been a crisis at the border my whole life and for most of the life of my parents, who were born in 1949,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales said this long-term issue of border control is usually resolved with temporary solutions.

“Executive actions are only, you know, temporary band aids. You know, solutions, if you will,” he said. “And they’re usually very partisan, you know.”

These actions will expire, he said. Gonzales said he believes Congress should provide permanent solutions to this issue but chooses not to.

“I don’t think one bill is going to do it, but they just choose to kick the can down the road and say, ‘We’ll try it again when it’s more advantageous to us,’” he said.

BYU student Liz Nava and her family are immigrants. Her experiences have made the problems at the border personal.

“Everything going on at the border right now means a lot to me, it’s very stressful,” she said.

Nava met many immigrant families while serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hearing their stories touched her heart and helped her understand more about what people go through at the border.

“They’re trying to find a better life for their family and I feel like a lot of people don’t understand that,” Nava said.

She shared what others can do about the situation.

“The biggest thing that you can do is before you jump to conclusions about the situation, I think it’s important that you educate yourself,” she said.

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