A picture of Representative José E. Serrano
Jose S.
Democrat NY 15

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  • Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015

    by Representative José E. Serrano

    Posted on 2015-01-13

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    SERRANO asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.) Mr. SERRANO. I thank the gentlewoman.

    Madam Chair, this is one of those moments where the best thing you can do is kind of scratch your head and say, What the heck are they thinking? We have a bipartisan bill, a Homeland Security bill that, as was said before by Mr. Farr, if it was put up for a vote, would pass almost unanimously, if not unanimously.

    But no, they couldn't help themselves. They had to take one more shot at the President and a bigger shot at immigrants. And so the bill is weighted down with attacks on immigrants. Mostly Latino immigrants, I would say, would be affected, and that is personal to me.

    So what this bill now would say if it gets all these amendments on it--and, by the way, I want to say that I am opposed to the bill with the amendments and not opposed to the bill in its clean fashion, and I think that is the way most Members think.

    What this bill now says is that, for instance, if you are in the military, serving our country, your spouse can be deported while you are away. That is really sad and insulting.

    We are going to have now new bumper stickers on the other side on their cars that will say, ``Support our troops and deport the spouses.'' It will be sad, and it will be horrible what we are doing.

    Now, our opportunity here is to defeat these amendments. Our opportunity here is to understand that if we have a gripe with the President using his constitutional power, deal with that. But don't take it out on every immigrant in the Nation.

    Incidentally, nothing that the President did is outside the law. We have a Constitution, and what he did is constitutional. It is within his powers as our Chief Executive in this Nation.

    This President waited and waited and waited for the majority party to do something about immigration. It refused to do something. You are upset that he took action on immigration. His action was due to your inaction on immigration. That is why we have this situation.

    So these 2 days will probably go down in history as two of the saddest days in this House, and I have been here 25 years, starting this January, because we will go after a group of people, and we will say to the DREAMers, you can't dream anymore, and we will say to the spouses, you are in danger of being deported.

    We will say to those who serve our country, we don't respect you anymore. And we will say to the whole world, we are not the Nation of immigrants; we are the Nation that doesn't want any more immigrants.

    This is sad. This is it not the way to go, and we should really rethink this before we take a final vote.

    {time} 1930 The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Smith of Nebraska). Members are reminded to address their remarks to the Chair.

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