WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Lawmakers on Capitol Hill said they’re determined to find solutions to better secure the southern border.
One mom is using her family’s tragedy to lend urgency to the issue.
“I don’t want any parent to live this nightmare,” Tammy Nobles, the mother of Kayla Hamilton, told lawmakers.
Nobles said she wants her daughter’s murder last summer to be a wake-up call.
“She (Hamilton) was murdered in her own room and left on the floor like trash,” Nobles said.
The alleged teenage killer was an MS-13 gang member who entered the U.S. as an unaccompanied minor.
Nobles pleaded with lawmakers to pass legislation to strengthen vetting at the southern border.
“For me, this is not a political issue,” Nobles said. “This is a safety issue.”
Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., said the tragedy underscores the need for stricter border laws.
“This is lunacy,” McClintock said.
Democrats argued the border bill Republicans passed will only create more chaos because it defunds parts of the asylum process.
“They are not serious about solutions,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.
“We have an obligation to act,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas.
On Tuesday, Escobar and Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., announced what they called a breakthrough.
“It’s called the Dignity Act,” Salazar said.
The bipartisan bill would boost border security while creating legal paths for asylum seekers.
“We’re going to treat you with humanitarian methods, but you’re not going to be able to game the system anymore,” Salazar said.
The bill would also create a legal path to citizenship — but only after the border is verified to be secure for a year.
Escobar called it “a true compromise.”
With no other bipartisan solutions in sight, Escobar and Salazar hope to gain support on both sides.