One of America's greatest strengths is that we are a nation of immigrants. The immigrants that built this country did so by following the law, working hard to contribute to the economy, and by becoming productive members of American society. While our country is a nation of immigrants, our current immigration system has become broken and is in dire need of reform and repair. The inability of the federal government to succeed in both real immigration reform and in effectively enforcing our nation's current laws has come at a high cost to our security, our economy, and the livelihoods of American citizens. Our illegal immigration and border security problems are among the greatest challenges facing our country today. It is important that we work to secure the border and end illegal immigration while benefiting from controlled and reasonable legal immigration.
I strongly oppose illegal immigration and blanket amnesty or any other reward to those who have intentionally and knowingly broken our nation's immigration laws. Doing so simply encourages continued lawbreaking and greater illegal immigration in the future. Since the onset of President Obama's unilateral executive actions, I have worked with my Republican colleagues to craft a conservative and constitutional response that would roll back the administration's unlawful, unwise, and unconstitutional actions on immigration. The President's willingness to ignore the rule of law and neglect the requirements of our nation's constitutional system harms our country and must be stopped.
In this Congress, I remain committed to taking a step-by-step approach on immigration so that we carefully and methodically review each component of federal immigration policy, including securing our borders. History points to the need for this step-by-step approach. By now, we have learned what happens when Congress rushes legislation or the Executive Branch bypasses the American legislative process. We want to produce better solutions so that the result is a secure border and a workable immigration system for our country for years to come.
Specifically in response to the horrific and illegal policies of “sanctuary cities” and the corresponding rise of illegal aliens committing crimes, I joined my friend and colleague Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) in introducing the House companion to the Protecting American Lives Act. My legislation closes the most dangerous immigration enforcement loopholes and ensures state and local compliance with all Federal immigration detainers of aliens in custody. It requires state and local jurisdictions to notify the federal government when a criminal alien is in their custody; it withholds federal funds from any state or local jurisdiction that releases an alien after a federal detainer has been placed on them; and it establishes a 5-year minimum prison sentence for deported aliens who attempt to illegally re-enter the United States. Ultimately, if jurisdictions refuse to cooperate with law enforcement enforcing federal law, those jurisdictions should not be receiving federal funds. We cannot stand by and allow more innocent lives to be lost.
In the 114th Congress, I have also been proud to support several pieces of legislation that protect American workers, secure our borders, deport criminal aliens, and counters illegal immigration including:
- H.R. 583 – Timely Repatriation Act (Ted Poe (R-TX)
- To provide for sanctions on countries that have refused or unreasonably delayed repatriation of an alien who is a national of that country
- H.R. 1147 – Legal Workforce Act (Lamar Smith (R-TX)
- Requires all U.S. employers to use E-Verify
- H.R. 1148 – Michael Davis, Jr. in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act (Trey Gowdy (R-SC)
- Ends the President's Ability to Unilaterally Shut-Down Immigration Enforcement
- H.R. 1149 – Protection of Children Act (John Carter (R-TX)
- Provides swift repatriation of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs)
- H.R. 1153 – Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act (Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
- Closes asylum loopholes and effectively ends "catch and release"
- H.R. 1332 – Deny Amnesty Credits Act (Randy Weber (R-TX)
- Excludes illegal aliens and deferred action recipients from earning tax credits
- H.R. 1716 – No Social Security for Illegal Immigrants Act (Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
- Prevents illegal immigrants from receiving social security credit through stolen, fake, or fraudulent social security numbers
- H.R. 2942 – Stop Catch and Release Act “Grant’s Law” (Matt Salmon (R-AZ)
- Ends the program known as “catch and release”
- H.R. 3011 – Establish Mandatory Minimums for Illegal Reentry Act “Kate’s Law” (Matt Salmon (R-AZ)
- Increase penalties on aliens who repeatedly illegally enter the country
- H.R. 4038 – American SAFE Act (Michael McCaul (R-TX)
- Requires that supplemental certifications and background checks be completed prior to the admission of certain refugees
- H.R. 4197 – State Refugee Security Act (Ted Poe (R-TX)
- Permits the Governor of a State to reject the resettlement of a refugee in that State
- H.R. 4731 – Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act (Raul Labrador (R-ID)
- Adjusts the annual number of admissible refugees down to 60,000 per year
- H.R. 5101 – Zero Tolerance for Illegal Entry Act (John Culberson (R-TX)
- Directs the Department of Justice to require U.S. attorneys to prosecute to the fullest extent offenses involving improper entry by an alien
- H.R. 5103 – Criminal Alien Detention and Removal Act (John Culberson (R-TX)
- Requires the inclusion of a term of supervised release or mandatory deportation for alien criminal offenders
- H.R. 5141 – Central American Amnesty Termination Act (Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
- Terminates the costly and inefficient Central American Refugee and Parole Program
- H.R. 5710 – Military Amnesty Prevention Act (Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
- Prevents unlawful aliens from enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces
- H.R. 5905 – Double-Layer Fencing Act (Randy Weber (R-TX)
- Provides for double-layered fencing along the entire southwest border
More on Immigration
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, issued the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s decision to send additional active duty troops to aid in the defense of our southern border:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Pete Sessions' (R-TX), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Border Tunnel Task Force Act to enhance border security and mobilize efforts to crack-down on border tunnel threats.
VIDEO RELEASE: Sessions Fights for Border Security on House Floor
Today, U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, delivered remarks from the House floor urging his colleagues to support the Border Tunnel Task Force Act, legislation he introduced to secure our porous southern border and crack down on dangerous border tunnels used to smuggle drugs and humans into our nation illegally.
Today, the House Homeland Security Committee advanced legislation introduced by Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Rules, and Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, to establish Border Tunnel Task Forces to secure our southern border and crack down on the smuggling of illegal substances into our country.
Today, the independent, nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a study requested in 2015 by U.S. Congressmen Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Steve King (R-IA) entitled "Criminal Alien Statistics: Information on Incarcerations, Arrests, Convictions, Costs, and Removals." This report provides information on criminal aliens in the United States from fiscal years 2011 through 2016.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Rules, released the following statement announcing his cosponsorship of a bill to address family separation at the border and his support of a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services led by Chairman Steve Stivers requesting more data and information regarding this critical issue:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Rules, released the following statement applauding the passage of a critical measure to fight our nation’s most notorious street gangs:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX) Chairman of the House Committee on Rules, released the following statement applauding the passage of a measure to crack down on criminal illegal aliens who are affiliated with criminal gangs:
WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Rules, released the following statement applauding the passage of two important measures to crack down on sanctuary cities:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U. S Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Rules, released the following statement applauding the passage of a measure to responsibly streamline the hiring process for United States Customs and Border Protection agents: