Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the authority “To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization.” This authority does not belong to the executive branch. When the President changes immigration law by executive order, Congress has an obligation to defund his power grab. Immigration reform starts with securing the border, enforcing the law, and tracking guest workers and other visa users.
I support enhancing our border security by extending and reinforcing physical barriers along the southern border, augmented with sufficient surveillance assets to alert authorities of illegal entries. I also support increasing our response capability. I cannot support other immigration reform until we secure the border and enforce the immigration laws already on the books.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 demonstrates that simply giving citizenship to illegal aliens will not slow or stop illegal immigration so long as the border is unsecured and guest workers are not tracked. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, the number of illegal aliens living in the United States has risen from about 2.9 million in 1995 to 11.3 million in 2014. Indeed, the mere discussion of comprehensive immigration reform only serves to incentivize and accelerate illegal immigration.
Here is where I stand on several specific issues related to any legislative reform of our immigration laws:
I will vote "no" on any bill that is not given sufficient time for reading, deliberating, and vetting. Immigration reform must not be passed in the same secretive, rushed, and frenzied manner as Obamacare. Immigration bills must go through regular order.
Immigration reform starts with accountable border security that includes regular audits and oversight from Congress.
We cannot reward people who broke our laws.
In the 114th Congress, I have co-sponsored multiple bills regarding immigration. These bills include:
H.R. 191, the Repeal Executive Amnesty Act, would clarify that the proper constitutional authority for immigration policy belongs to the legislative branch by shifting the authority to parole an alien from the U.S. Attorney General to the Department of Homeland Security.
H.R. 2942, the Stop Catch and Release Act, would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to detain any alien who is unlawfully present in the United States and is arrested for certain criminal offenses.
H.R. 2964, the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal (CLEAR) Act, would enhance assistance in law enforcement of immigration laws by listing immigration violators in the National Crime Information Center database and allowing state and local law enforcement personnel to investigate, apprehend, and transfer to federal custody aliens in the United States.
H.R. 3002, the Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act, would prohibit a state or local government from receiving financial assistance for a minimum of one year if it restricts a government entity from sending or receiving information from the federal immigration agency regarding immigration or citizenship status, or maintaining or exchanging information about an individual’s status.
H.R. 3011, the Establishing Mandatory Minimums for Illegal Reentry Act, would amend the Immigration Nationality Act to increase the penalties applicable to aliens who unlawfully reenter the United States after being removed.