This story is a staff report from The Paper.

Last week U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell introduced The Anti-Caravan Act of 2022 directs the State Department to use $60 million of already appropriated funding for foreign aid to pay for up to 70 percent of the cost of repatriation flights for immigrants from Central America and Mexico to their home countries, especially if they are traveling in large groups.

The bill says the funding may be used to fund immigrant detention, processing immigration cases, and repatriation flights for foreign nationals to be returned to their country of nationality.

The legislation would also make migrants who participate in a caravan – defined as a group of 25 or more people – ineligible for asylum for 10 years. Despite the fact that many who travel in caravans are seeking asylum. Caravan organizers would be ineligible for 30 years and face a potential prison sentence of a minimum of 10 years. The bill also states that asylum seekers must request asylum via a port of entry.

Herrell’s bill comes as there is widespread concern about the Biden administration’s plan to lift the Title 42 public health order, which has been used to expel more than half of migrants coming to the southern border. Republicans and Democrats have warned it could lead to an overwhelming surge in migrants.

Department of Homeland Security says it has been planning for up to 18,000 migrants a day, and Border Patrol says it has already been encountering approximately 8,000 a day — often coming in caravans.