The House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023, which included local Congressman Nathaniel Moran’s Visa Overstays Penalties Act legislation.
Moran released a statement following the passing of the H.R. 2, Secure the Border Act of 2023 — where he was one of eight original co-sponsors and the only freshman Congressman serving as an original co-sponsor.
“East Texans understand that the crisis of illegal immigration does not stop at our borders,” said Moran. “Thousands of illegal immigrants, currently living in the United States, originally entered our nation legally and later overstayed their visa.”
“To address this issue, I introduced the Visa Overstays Penalties Act to reclassify the act of overstaying a visa as an ‘illegal entry’ — increasing both civil and criminal penalties,” explained Moran.
The Visa Overstays Penalties Act reclassifies the act over overstaying a visa as “illegal entry” in an effort to increase penalties for those who overstay their permitted visa. Currently the act is classified as a misdemeanor criminal offense, the Visa Overstays Penalties Act increases the penalties to include up to six months imprisonment for first-time offenders and civil penalties between $500 and $1,000 which are set to double for each subsequent offense.
The Secure the Border Act of 2023 address issues regarding immigration and border security by imposing limits to asylum eligibility among many other methods including grants to law enforcement agencies for border security operations, requiring the Department of Homeland Security to create an electronic employment eligibility confirmation system for all employers, prohibiting the DHS from processing the entry of non-U.S. nationals arriving between ports of entry, as well as imposing the additional penalties for overstaying a visa. The bill also includes measures to resume DHS activities regarding the construction of a border wall.
The move to pass the H.R. 2 Secure the Border Act of 2023 comes as Title 42, the pandemic-era public health restrictions aimed at border protection, expired on May 11. The new act passed by the House of Representatives is meant to combat what Moran described as a broken asylum system while streamlining the processing of immigrants and even increasing the amount of Border Patrol agents at the border.
“The passage of H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act of 2023 — a Republican priority for the 118th Congress, is a step in the right direction toward closing the backdoor of illegal immigration, preserving our sovereignty, and securing our nation on all fronts,” said Moran.
The H.R. 2 Secure the Border Act of 2023 is now set to move to the Senate. The White House has previously issued a threat to veto the bill.