As the mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, I introduced the Illegal Immigration Relief Act in 2006. The IIRA was the first local law of its kind in the nation. It cracked down on local employers who knowingly hired illegal aliens and landlords who knowingly provided refuge to them.  My concentrated effort served as a blueprint for other jurisdictions, such as Valley Park, Missouri; Fremont, Nebraska; and the State of Arizona, to enact their own anti-illegal immigration legislation.  On May 26, 2011, the United States Supreme Court ruled that states have the right to create and enforce their own anti-illegal immigration policies. A few days later, the high court overturned the lower court rulings that prevented the City of Hazleton from enforcing the IIRA, and ordered a federal circuit court to re-hear the case. In Washington, I continue to fight for the rule of law.

There should not and cannot be a plan to offer amnesty to the millions of illegal aliens present until we secure the borders.  Various proposals are inadequate, in that there are no standards for what a secure border truly is.  Putting the northern, southern, and water-bound borders aside, what about all of the inland portals?  If your state is home to an international airport, then you effectively live in a border state, given that 40 percent of all illegal aliens present today arrived on visas that have now expired.

A homeowner would never replace the wet carpet while there was still a hole in the roof.

The real losers in this debate will unfortunately be those immigrants who have come here legally – new Americans – who have chosen our country to improve their own lives and those of their families.  They have obeyed our laws and will see an untold number of illegal aliens emerge and compete for jobs, opportunities, and resources that are already scarce.  The message we will be sending to them is that their hard work and perseverance was pointless, because we will reward lawbreakers with the chance to take jobs at lower wages and cut the line in front of them.

As a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, which has broad jurisdiction over border security, protecting the country from terrorist attacks, responding to disasters, and protecting national infrastructure, I will be a loud voice to fix our broken borders and immigration system.

More on Immigration

Mar 27, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today applauded the Department of Justice’s announcement that it will deny certain federal grant funding to sanctuary cities.  The policy will require jurisdictions to certify compliance with federal immigration laws in order to be eligible for Department of Justice grants.  Barletta is the author of legislation, the Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act, H.R.

Mar 22, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today released the following statement after meeting with Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald J. Trump last evening.  They discussed Barletta’s concerns that illegal immigrants would receive tax credits under the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Barletta stated Monday that he would vote against the bill unless his concerns were addressed.

Mar 22, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today introduced his bill to deny health care tax credits to illegal immigrants and ensure that Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars go only to those with valid social security numbers.  Barletta’s bill, the Verify First Act, H.R. 1671, is the result of a meeting he had with President Donald J.

Mar 16, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today faulted two federal district court rulings temporarily blocking President Donald J. Trump’s executive order suspending travel to the United States from six countries with strong connections to terrorism.

Mar 6, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today applauded President Trump’s latest executive order, which pauses the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. It also suspends the issuance of new visas for 90 days for individuals from six countries that either are designated as state sponsors of terrorism, or have become terrorist hotbeds.  The six countries are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. 

Feb 14, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) has introduced legislation that protects people who are legally authorized to work in the United States by clarifying that illegal immigrants granted amnesty by executive action cannot be issued work permits.  The Defense of Legal Workers Act (H.R.

Feb 10, 2017 Press Release


Rep. Barletta (left) questions retired Gen. John Kelly, the new Secretary of Homeland Security, during a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee on February 7, 2017. 

Feb 10, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today faulted the ruling of a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which declined to reinstate President Trump’s executive order suspending travel to the United States from seven specific failed states with strong connections to terrorism.  The court claimed that there was no evidence of actual terrorist attacks perpetrated by citizens of the seven countries, while completely ignoring recent history and ample instances of arrests for foiled plots or coordination with terrorist organizations.  The judges somehow

Feb 7, 2017 Press Release

Rep. Barletta speaks with Gen. John Kelly (Ret.), the new Secretary of Homeland Security, prior to a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee. 

Click here or on image for video of Rep. Barletta’s Q&A with Gen. Kelly.

Jan 30, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today commented further on President Trump’s executive order of Friday, January 27, 2017, which suspended the flawed U.S.