Press Releases

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Votes to Stop Illegal Amnesty

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Washington, January 14, 2015 | Sheryl Kaufman (202-225-2211) | comments
Today the House of Representatives passed a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security for Fiscal Year 2015, targeting funds for increased immigration law enforcement and blocking funding for the President’s unilateral actions granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. The President’s amnesty policy provideswork authorization permits and benefits such as Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare to at least five million illegal immigrants.

“The President created a constitutional crisis in November by announcing unilateral directives to limit enforcement of immigration laws in direct contravention of the intent of Congress” said Bridenstine. “The Congress alone has the prerogative to legislate, and the Constitution is very specific on laws relating to immigration and naturalization. The President cannot decide which laws to enforce or not enforce and how to apply them to broad classes of individuals. His constitutional responsibility is to take care that the laws are faithfully executed.”

This legislation blocks any funds from being used to carry out the executive actions announced on November 20, 2014 to grant deferred action to four million unlawful immigrants. It also defunds implementation of the so-called Morton Memos. Beginning in 2011, DHS progressively relaxed immigration enforcement following guidance issued by then-ICE Director John Morton.

It also blocks funding for new, renewed, or previously denied DACA applications (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). In 2012, the President violated the Constitution by granting work authorization permits to an entire class of illegal aliens who entered the United States before the age of 18. The bill also requires the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize immigration enforcement proceeding for illegal aliens convicted of domestic violence and sex crimes. The bill also expressed the sense of Congress that immigration actions should not advantage unlawful immigrants over legal immigrants or legal U.S. workers.

The DHS Appropriations bill, HR 240, increases funding for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over FY2014 funding levels. The ICE E-Verify program, allowing employers to check legal status of employees, is fully funded. The bill slightly decreases Transportation Security Administration (TSA) funding and supports their shift to more risk-based screening.

Bridenstine added, “I am pleased we had the opportunity to pass this significant legislation in the House to block the President’s unlawful, unconstitutional actions. I urge the Senate to press for passage. There will be further action to enhance border security, and I will work to assure that we move toward enforcing current law which requires 100 percent of the southern border to be verified as secure before considering other immigration law reforms.”
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