U.S. Congressman John Culberson
Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Our nation was founded and built by immigrants yearning to breathe free. I believe we should continue building on that proud tradition by welcoming newcomers into our nation, while insisting they follow our laws and learn our history.
The federal government is directly responsible for enforcing existing laws that secure our borders, keep our communities safe, and ensure the safe and legal movement of people and goods across our borders. Unfortunately, our country’s immigration system is badly broken. It is often easier for people to enter the United States illegally than it is for them to enter legally.
I co-authored and voted for Representative Goodlatte’s (VA-06) original legislation, H.R. 4760 – Securing America’s Future Act of 2018. Importantly, this bill ensures children of illegal immigrants are not separated from their parents when apprehended crossing the border illegally. It provides significant investments to secure our borders from drug smugglers, human traffickers, and transnational criminal organizations. It also mandates e-verify to reduce the economic incentive that plays a large role in enticing illegal immigration and helps combat visa fraud. It provides critical authorities to ensure that dangerous criminal aliens are kept in custody until removed from the country.
The bill provides a solution for DACA recipients who were brought to the United States as young children so long as they stay out of trouble and stay in school or keep a job. This bill is far from perfect – I do not believe that we should reduce legal immigration or move the goalposts on those waiting in line to come here legally. At the end of the day, I felt compelled to vote yes on this bill to secure our border, prevent small children from being separated from their parents, and to provide a solution for DACA recipients.
As I said in my statement last week, while it is unfortunate that these parents put their children at risk by embarking on a dangerous journey and breaking the law, we should not separate small children from their parents while their immigration case is pending. It is not consistent with our values as a nation.
Due to the urgency of the situation, the President signed an Executive Order last Wednesday directing the Border Patrol and ICE to keep parents and kids together after they have been apprehended crossing the border illegally. This is the right thing to do, and I support this action.
This Wednesday, I voted against H.R. 6136 – Border Security and Immigration Reform Act. While the bill provides much needed border security funding and a solution for the DACA population, it does not include e-verify and would ultimately provide a pathway to citizenship for the parents of DACA recipients who knowingly broke the law, unlike their children. While there is much to like in this bill, I voted no, due to its serious shortcomings.
As both H.R. 4760 – Securing America’s Future Act of 2018 and H.R. 6136 – Border Security and Immigration Reform Act failed to pass, I am calling on my colleagues in the House to immediately provide a permanent legislative solution to ensure small children are not separated from their parents while their immigration case is being adjudicated.
I remain committed to finding a legislative balance that secures our borders, reduces illegal immigration, and provides a solution for DACA recipients.
To let me know your thoughts on these or any other issues, you can email me here.
Source: Texas Politics