WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after leading and submitting multiple appropriations language and programmatic requests this week to the House Appropriations Committee aimed at securing the border and defunding President Obama’s executive actions granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants:
“The American people are sick and tired of a lawless executive branch acting unilaterally to enforce their misguided open borders agenda. Throughout the country, we are constantly witnessing the destructive consequences of these failed policies. Innocent children are being murdered by illegal aliens and a drug epidemic has infiltrated the country. I am proud to lead the charge to defund President Obama’s executive amnesty actions and to secure the border.
“Additionally, I am pleased to have the support of so many of my House colleagues in demanding Congress start holding this administration accountable for it’s shameful actions that are putting our communities at risk. This lawlessness has to stop.”
The full text of Congressman’s language and programmatic requests can be read by clicking on the titles below:
No Funds to Implement Executive Actions on Immigration
In his first six years in office, President Obama stated at least 22 times that he did not have the authority to unilaterally change immigration policy. Yet, that is exactly what he attempted to do by issuing unconstitutional executive actions in November 2014, with the intent of creating the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program and expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This commonsense request seeks to block all executive actions on immigration dating back to 2011. The House passed nearly identical language last year in the form of H.AMDT.6 to H.R. 240. Article 1, Section 8 gives Congress clear jurisdiction on immigration matters, and the Obama Administration’s executive actions clearly infringe on that authority. Inserting this rider in the Homeland Security Appropriations bill will provide assurances to the public that we will do all we can to put an end to this lawlessness and to defend our Constitution. 36 members of the House submitted this Gosar appropriations language request.
Prevent Funds from Going to Sanctuary Cities
The shocking case of Kate Steinle in San Francisco in 2015, revealed the danger sanctuary cities pose to our Republic. Steinle was shot and killed by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times. San Francisco authorities were asked to detain Sanchez until he could be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. The city declined and held Sanchez in jail for less than a month on a 20-year-old drug charge before releasing him on April 15, 2015, less than two months before he killed Steinle. The Steinle killing called attention to the dangers sanctuary city policies pose to the safety and security of the American people. The House has voted and passed language that prohibits federal funds from going to sanctuary cities five different times in recent years. 42 members of the House submitted this Gosar appropriation's language request.
Build the Fence
For decades, a porous border has allowed millions of immigrants to enter our country illegally. The Secure Fence Act of 2006 (Pub.L. 109-367), which was signed into law by President George W. Bush, required the Secretary of Homeland Security to achieve and maintain "operational control" over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States” and called for two layers of reinforced fencing in parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas totaling more than 700 miles. This fencing was intended to deter crossings where illegal activity is a high risk, but DHS has yet to complete the law’s fencing requirements. Security fences work, and completion of the double-layered fence on our border with Mexico should be a top priority. 21 members of the House submitted this Gosar appropriation's language request.
Block Funding for Central American Minors (CAM) Amnesty Flight Program
Media reports have indicated that participants in the program could include felons and immigrants that were previously deported. Shockingly, in a December 17, 2015 letter to multiple members of Congress, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Leon Rodriquez acknowledged as much stating, “USCIS does not track systematically how many applicants were previously deported or previously convicted of a felony”. This unconstitutional program promotes lawlessness and incentivizes further illegal immigration. Under Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution, Congress has the responsibility to make immigration laws and authorize new programs. Congress has never authorized the CAM program. 20 members of the House submitted this Gosar appropriations request.
Fully-Fund the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP)
SCAAP is a grant program that reimburses states and local governments for the cost of incarcerating undocumented illegal immigrants convicted of crimes. By law, the federal government is ultimately responsible for immigration enforcement, including the incarceration of undocumented criminal offenders. When this is not possible, the law requires the federal government to compensate state and local governments for their incarceration costs. Compensation to local law enforcement agencies under SCAAP currently covers less than 18% of the actual cost of incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens. Although appropriations levels for SCAAP have decreased dramatically in recent years, the costs incurred by local law enforcement for incarcerating undocumented criminal offenders have increased significantly. 48 members of the House submitted this Gosar appropriation's program request.
The Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) and NumbersUSA endorsed the first four appropriations requests.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) endorsed the fifth appropriations request.