Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015by Representative Ted Poe
Posted on 2015-01-13
POE of Texas. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Madam Chair, ``America is a Nation of laws, which means, I, as the President, am obligated to enforce the law. I don't have a choice about that. That is part of my job.
``With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that is just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed.
``There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply, through executive order, ignore those congressional mandates, would not conform with my appropriate role as President.'' Those are the words of the former constitutional law professor, and now President, on March 28, 2011. Those very words condemn executive amnesty.
The United States is ruled by law, not by one person. The United States is not a monarchy. If it were, we would have kept King George III.
The executive amnesty is not only unconstitutional, Madam Chair, it is at cross-purposes to security. The Department of Homeland Security cannot secure the U.S. border, no matter how many programs and how much money we spend on homeland security, as long as the Executive undermines law and security by unilaterally ignoring those very security laws.
We can give all the money we want to the Department of Homeland Security, but that doesn't do any good if we do not make sure the law is enforced.
Madam Chairman, we will use this example that has already been used by my friend, Mr. Culberson. We have tax laws in this country. God knows we have too many tax laws in this country.
But if the Executive makes a decision, I am just going to ignore these tax laws for a certain group of people, none of us would like that. The Executive doesn't have that authority to just ignore law for whatever reason, even if it is a good reason, because that does not establish the constitutional power of who the Executive is.
Madam Chair, those of us in Texas have a vested interest in homeland security. The United States border with [[Page H333]] Mexico is almost 2,000 miles. Sixty percent of the border is in Texas. Forty-five percent of the entire border is in one Member's district, Mr. Will Hurd.
The Texas border with Mexico is the distance from New Orleans to Washington, D.C. We have got a vested interest in border security and the rule of law, because failure to enforce the rule of law affects people on the border. It affects American citizens. It affects legal immigrants.
Now, there is a lot that has been said about immigration. I am for immigration. We do need some changes in immigration. The United States allows a million people to legally come into the United States. But when laws are enforced, there is order. When law is not enforced, there is chaos.
The Acting CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.