A picture of Representative Louie Gohmert
Louie G.
Republican TX 1

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  • Immigration

    by Representative Louie Gohmert

    Posted on 2013-07-08

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    GOHMERT. Thank you. I too want to follow up on something Dr. Fleming was referring to. The Senate bill was considered some great panacea. It's going to solve all the problems. We are finally going to get border security, we are told.

    But I can think of at least a couple of times when this President has said, if the Congress doesn't change the law, I will. Basically he said, if they don't act by changing the law, then I'll act.

    We've seen him do that. When he didn't like the law on immigration, he changed the law just by his own decree. We've seen with regard to even ObamaCare--his signature bill from his first administration--it's not going well. He wouldn't come ask Congress, uh-oh, it's not going well so let's change the law. So he just gave ``so as I speak so shall it be,'' which is not reminiscent of normal Presidential conduct.

    It is important that a President enforce the law, advocate for changes in the law, but under no circumstances is the President supposed to change the law to fit his own desires. I mean, you advocate, but the checks and balances which are the real genius behind the Constitution that do create gridlock, that create tensions between the different branches are what keeps this place from becoming a monarchy.

    This President, when he says, If Congress doesn't act to change the law, then I will take care of it, well, we've seen that with gun control. He didn't like the fact that Congress was not changing the law when we were demanding that he enforce the laws that are there. All of these killers that have just been a plague on society, they violated plenty of laws. But this administration may be the worst at enforcing the gun laws. Certainly this administration has really been wanting in the area of enforcing the gun laws; and instead they come around and say, we want new gun laws. Well, that's not the way to do it.

    I know that Republicans say, look, look, it's important we get this off the table, let's just get it off the table so let's pass something and that will get it off the table and then we can get on to the other things. I have already mentioned I think the thing to do is say, Resolved: the House is not going to take up an immigration bill until the President, the executive branch, Homeland Security, secures the border. Woodrow Wilson--and I'm not a fan of his historically--but in 1916 when Americans were threatened by rage across the border and Americans killed, that President secured the border, pure and simple. He secured the border, and he didn't go run around demanding that a new immigration bill be passed and we give amnesty to people.

    There is a great article that National Review had from Fred Bauer. He said: Any argument that says the GOP should support such a measure to remove immigration as a political issue should be treated with immediate suspicion. Millions would be left as illegal immigrants under the Senate plan and most other legalization plans a million more illegal immigrants, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would arrive over the next 10 years. Many provisions of the Senate bill, from the law wait time for citizenship to the status of guest workers, provide plenty of opportunities for the left to demagog this issue. Any changes to U.S. immigration law also change the future composition of the body politic. Immigration as a national policy question has not been ``off the table'' since 1789. Don't expect the latest link of congressional sausage to change that.

    I think that's well said.

    This is not going to be off the table. The way that we should deal with it responsibly is hold the administration accountable. You enforce the law and then we'll get an immigration bill done very quickly after that. I know we will.

    All my colleagues here know there are parts of the immigration law that need to be fixed. But until the border is secure, not closed, but secured, we are wasting our time talking about a comprehensive immigration bill, or even good bills like Trey Gowdy or other bills that people have had; we shouldn't even be talking about them. Let the immigration secure the border and then we can work these things out very quickly. It's like a huge flood in your basement. If you run down and start with a mop while the water is still pouring in, you're making a mistake. You first stop the flood, and then you can clean up the problems after that.

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