Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015by Representative Bob Goodlatte
Posted on 2015-01-13
GOODLATTE. Mr. Chairman, I first want to begin by thanking the
chairman of the Subcommittee on Homeland Security of the Committee on
Appropriations and the chairman of the full Appropriations Committee,
the gentlemen from Texas and Kentucky, for their excellent work on this
It is important that we pass it, and it is important that we use the power of [[Page H324]] the purse in this process to stop the President's unconstitutional actions.
President Obama has embarked on some of the biggest executive power grabs in American history by unilaterally rewriting our Nation's immigration laws. These actions ignore the will of the American people who voted in November to change the way Washington operates, and these actions flout the United States Constitution.
They must be ended because these policies threaten the separation of powers between Congress and the executive branch and violate President Obama's obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
Congress must fight to stop these unconstitutional actions from being implemented, and today, the House of Representatives is doing just that. We will consider amendments to this bill that will stop President Obama's executive overreach in its tracks.
Two of the amendments will completely defund President Obama's executive power grabs. One offered by Representatives Robert Aderholt, Mick Mulvaney, and Lou Barletta will defund the President's new deferred action program for over 4 million unlawful alien parents. It will also defund the other executive actions he announced on November 20 and DHS' so-called prosecutorial discretion memos that have gutted immigration enforcement within the United States.
Importantly, in addition to barring the use of appropriated funds to carry out these policies, the amendment will bar President Obama from using immigration user fees, the filing fees to accomplish his executive fiat, and it will prevent him and subsequent Presidents from carrying out similar policies in the future by whatever means, whether it be by memo, executive order, or regulation.
The other defunding amendment, offered by Representative Marsha Blackburn, completely defunds DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, that has granted deferred action and work authorization to hundreds of thousands of unlawful aliens.
The third amendment will be offered by Representatives DeSantis and Roby. It will ensure that sex offenders and domestic violence perpetrators are top priorities for removal by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, something that is not the case in this current administration under the President's memos.
The fourth amendment will be offered by Representative Schock. It expresses the sense of Congress that the Obama administration should stop putting the interests of unlawful aliens ahead of legal immigrants.
Under the President's DACA program, legal immigrants playing by the rules and seeking to come to the United States the right way have paid the price; they have faced longer wait times even though they have paid the fees to have their applications processed and seeing those fees diverted to pay for people who entered the country unlawfully.
The fifth amendment will be offered by Representatives Salmon and Thompson. It expresses the sense of Congress that U.S. workers should not be harmed by the granting of deferred action and work authorization to unlawful aliens.
In many cases, businesses now have a $3,000 incentive to hire an alien granted DACA benefits over a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant worker, since DACA recipients are not eligible for ObamaCare. So, in other words, an employer has an incentive, either not having to provide health insurance and not having to pay the fine, so a minimum of $3,000 if they hire somebody who is not lawfully present in the United States until the President's executive memos take effect. That should be stopped.
If President Obama's unilateral immigration amendments are not stopped, future Presidents will continue to expand the power of the executive branch and encroach upon individual liberty.
The time is now for Congress to take a stand against these abusive actions. I urge my colleagues to support this bill and these important amendments and yield back the balance of my time.