Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), the first two Republican women to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee, have introduced legislation to combat asylum fraud and protect children arriving at the border from falling victim to human trafficking. S. 2420, the End Child Trafficking Now Act of 2019, amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to require a DNA test to substantiate the familial relationship between an alien and an accompanying minor. The legislation will prevent drug traffickers and gang members from trafficking children.
Senator Blackburn joined the Guy Benson Radio Show to explain the bill.
Guy Benson: Brand new hour here on the Guy Benson Show live in New York City. Thank you for listening. The Big Apple.
Guy Benson: I'll be back home in D.C. tomorrow after a quick stop in the morning which I will tell you about on tomorrow's show. Speaking of quick stops I just want to mention this and it's going to tie in to my first guest this hour. Politicon on which for years has been like comic con almost but for politics it's been held in L.A. since its inception four years and I've attended a few of them spoken at a couple of them for the first time ever. They are moving Politicon in from the left coast to Nashville Tennessee. They just announced the lineup I believe yesterday. I will be there again. You can get your tickets at Politico on dot com. I'll be speaking on several panels. It is quite an array of people. Al Franken is gonna be there. James Comey is going to be there. Sean Hannity Jordan Peterson. It's eclectic. It's wild it's sort of like this weird political nerd festival but I look forward to seeing some of you in Nashville Tennessee Music City.
Guy Benson: And speaking of Tennessee.
Guy Benson: Welcoming back to the program now Marsha Blackburn Republican U.S. senator from that beautiful state Senator great to have you back.
Sen. Blackburn: It is so good to be with you. Thank you so much.
Guy Benson: You bet I cannot wait to come back to Nashville as one of my absolute favorite cities in the country. Vastly underrated. I strongly recommended for the music for the food. I mean you know all this I'm just for people who are thinking about maybe a a getaway vacation. Nashville is a fantastic place to consider.
Sen. Blackburn [00:02:11] It is the best of everything. He's got great music it doesn't matter if you like country music or symphonic music gospel music you name it it is all there and people will have a great time when they come. We've got pro sports I got great universities got good people and some of the best food you will ever eat. It was really quite a foodie town.
Guy Benson: A hundred percent I'm a huge foodie husk I think is the restaurant that I went to when I was there for the Music City Bowl and Northwestern victory by the way. That was a fantastic meal. I feel like I'm being paid by the Chamber of Commerce in Tennessee right now. The Tourism Bureau but it really is that fun. And so if folks maybe want to make their inaugural trip to Nashville next month it's in late October. Check out Politico on dot com come say hello. With that Senator I want to ask you you and Senator Ernst have teamed up on a proposal that at least tries to get out one of the elements of this ongoing border crisis particularly involving asylum claims and the abuses that we do know occur thousands of them documented in the last two years alone of traffickers trying to claim minors as their own children sort of as a ticket into the country when in fact those are not their kids and those kids in many cases are being abused.
Guy Benson: What is your solution that you're offering.
Sen. Blackburn: Right and the solution is really simple and Guy you summed it up really well. These are people that have rented a child or they have taken they have a child they are using to get across the border. And what we are saying is look if someone is going to come in and they say this is my child then they have and they don't have the documentation to show that that is their child. Then they have to take a DNA test so that they can prove that relationship to that child. These DNA tests that we would use take only about 90 minutes to process. So you're really not talking about delaying individuals. But you mentioned there have been thousands of claims of fraudulent identity involving these children and fraudulent relationships involving these children thousands since last May and there was a survey that Immigration and Border Patrol did this year and they found that one in every five children. So that's 20 percent of the children are not related to the person who is claiming to be their family member. And we know the rent to child program the recycle Children program that the cartels and the coyotes are using it is something that is continuing to expand and this is the way that we can stop these cartels from abusing these children. And there is physical abuse there's the emotional abuse of course in something like this. So this would be a way to protect these children that are appearing at that southern border.
Guy Benson: I'm reading from some of the bullet points about this bill and it would appear that if people refuse to take the test they would be immediately deported. And if it around out that they had in fact committed fraud there would be an adjudication process but they would be liable up to 10 years in prison if they are if they're found guilty of that. Those are fairly severe punishments. I guess the one thing that you mentioned that was interesting that it takes just an hour and a half to process I was under the impression correct that it would take maybe days if not weeks to get all this processed and then go back and find the people and it could be a huge lag time. This seems like it's it's almost immediate. Do you have any sense of the cost. What would it cost taxpayers to add this this level into the process.
Sen. Blackburn: Well the test are not that expensive but when you talk about abuse of the system you also have to think of the use of the children. And I don't think the penalties are severe at all for deportation or for criminal prosecution for someone who is trying to subject a child to this. When you think about the cost of the illegal entry to our country the people that are coming here they get an asylum claim and then they never show up. They just they get that court date. They're released. They don't show up and that cost to society. I think that the small cost. That is there for this quick DNA test is very it's minimal in comparison.
Sen. Blackburn: When you think of the aggregated cost around the issue of illegal immigration.
Guy Benson : On the broader question of asylum reform you know I would love to see a bill through Congress on this I think that the law is flawed.
Guy Benson: The status quo doesn't make sense and needs to be changed. In the meantime the Trump administration has tried to do this unilaterally by executive order and executive action. There is quite a lot of power vested in the executive when it comes to immigration will get some of the legal analysis next hour from Judge Napolitano. But the Supreme Court coming down yesterday with a favorable ruling for the administration at least temporarily allowing their new rules to stay in effect. I assume that you welcome that decision from the court it was 72.
Sen. Blackburn: Yes I do welcome that decision from the court. We know this decision not the final word on it but allowing the administration to move forward with their changes we think is appropriate. And you know I got to tell you I'm somebody who has been to the border a couple of times this summer and I've been out on patrol with the Border Patrol and I see firsthand the numbers of people that they're having to pick up and they're having to process. And the while people the cartels are abusing our laws and our system guy as an example. We were out one day and within 30 minutes there were 12 people. There was one family from Honduras. And the guy. It was a husband a wife who was six months pregnant and two children. And at first they tried to say they had walked the distance and then they told us they had found out that now was a good time to come. They found it out on the Internet and then we had eight people from Cuba who had worked with the cartel as they flew to Mexico and they were taught how to go claim asylum by the cartels.
Guy Benson:Yeah they give them almost like note cards with buzz phrases to use.
Sen. Blackburn: Right. That's right. And you know then you have some of these activist groups that also have people down there training them what to say. And these were people that were well-dressed. They came walking across the border. They spotted us. They came walking up to us with their hands in the air and they were saying asylum asylum. So you know they were seeking that asylum and trying to get that attention our attention so that they could turn themselves in.
Guy Benson: And I have no problem with accepting people into this country and having America be a refuge for people who truly need asylum who are being persecuted and are in mortal danger back home. The problem that has been documented over and over again is that that generosity is being exploited and abused over and over again on a systematic level.
Sen. Blackburn: That's that's right. A systematic level by cartel to product their product is two things. They traffic drugs and they traffic human beings. And this is not you know some small business this is big business. These are billion dollar a year businesses. And what they're doing is training people on how to abuse our laws how to use the loopholes to their advantage. And it's wrong. It's not fair to U.S. citizens or to U.S. taxpayers. And certainly these precious children that end up getting abused in this process. It's not fair to them.
Guy Benson: On the subject of precious children Senator I want to ask you about something that happened this week. One of your colleagues in the Senate Elizabeth Warren she's running for president. She raised some eyebrows by endorsing primary challengers within the Democratic Party to two members of Congress in the House to House Democrats who are not completely out on the left wing sort of that whole world when it comes to the issue of abortion they're not.
Guy Benson: Out on a limb way way out there on some of these radical proposals you know taxpayer funded abortion on demand for any reason through the moment of birth. These two members one from Texas Henry Quasar one from Illinois Dan Lipinski Elizabeth Warren specifically threw her support behind other Democrats trying to oust them saying that they were insufficiently supportive of abortion and it just it strikes me as something that is sad to see sort of the purity purge on the left particularly on an issue like that where any respect for unborn human life is seen as a punishable offense.
Sen. Blackburn: Well but but that is their thought. If you want to get the left really riled up then talk about being a conservative woman who is pro-life and talk about being a conservative woman who is pro family values and then talk about how you think moms and parents should be able to participate in their child's education at their public school. Now these are three things that just throw them into a tiss. A good old fashion tiss and I think that's what Elizabeth Warren did this week she just could not believe that somebody would not support abortion on demand abortion at the last minute abortion paid for by the tax payers because a day. I mean I mean you have Bernie Sanders out there saying look up to size population control to help protect the earth. And the atmosphere and these are just very different values that we hold. Value life at all levels and I value life and appreciate that we are each individually made wonderfully and fearfully made by God and that he knows us from the time we are in the whom.
Guy Benson: Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee always appreciate you coming on. We'll keep an eye on your bill with Senator Ernst on the DNA issue in the family question at the border when it comes to asylum claims. And if I don't talk to you before then maybe I'll catch you down in Nashville around Politico. I can't wait to get back to Tennessee there. Sounds good. Thank you Senator. Senator Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee one of our favorites here she's always a treat to talk to you when we come back. I want to tell you about a story out of Texas that has some Republicans frustrated and some conservatives just not wringing their hands but scratching our heads it's something that bothers me and has for a long time. I'll explain right after this.