An update in immigration laws, a restructuring of policies and humane treatment of migrants are among the top proposals in this new framework plan David McNew/Getty Images

NEW YORK CITY - An update to immigration laws, the restructuring of policies and a more humane treatment of migrants are among the top proposals of a new framework plan released by several organizations dedicated to the issue.

The National Immigration Forum, in coordination with several other groups, presented the "Coalition Border Security and Management" plan, a 16-page document meant to draw Republicans and Democrats together in order to effectively deal with the migrant crisis, officials say.

The organizations argue that increased immigration figures at the southern border, which reached a record of 2.5 million border encounters in fiscal year 2023, are no longer temporary. Hence, this new reality requires action from Congress.

This is why they believe that these changes— not only happening in the U.S. but across the Western Hemisphere— require that Congress updates the country's laws and policies and invest more resources to meet the new challenges.

The plan outlines four main proposals.

Firstly, they discuss modernizing the U.S. asylum process by creating a specialized corps of asylum officers with the authority to adjudicate most claims at the border within 45-60 days.

Secondly, the organizations proposed necessary funding for personnel and resources to adequately secure the U.S. border.

Thirdly, the Forum suggests programs and investments in technology to stop the flow of fentanyl and other illegal substances into the United States.

The fourth main proposal includes stopping human smuggling and trafficking by updating federal laws and processes to better respond to incidents, including those involving children.

"This framework is pragmatic and we believe will receive support across party lines," Jennie Murray, CEO of the nonprofit National Immigration Forum, told reporters on Wednesday.

If applied by lawmakers, Murray says, "this framework would reduce unauthorized crossings and make the asylum process more efficient. It would also recognize the need for states and cities that have been struggling to keep up with the challenges of welcoming new arrivals."

The report also argues that safeguarding the most vulnerable populations, like children, needs to be a priority. Under this proposal, all unaccompanied children would receive a case manager within 72 hours of entering U.S. custody, and there would be documented reporting of every interaction the child has with U.S. officials.

The seven collaborating organizations that took part in this year-long report are all members of what they call center-right advocacy groups affiliated with the Alliance for a New Immigration Consensus.

Along with the National Immigration Forum, participating groups also include Niskanen Center, Hispanic Leadership Fund, Mormon Women for Ethical Government, State Business Executives, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and Border Perspective.

"We're given Congress tools to tackle policy reforms that secure our border and ensure our asylum system is efficient, effective, and fair," said Kristie De Peña, senior vice president of policy at the Niskanen Center think tank.

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