U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta announces immigration reform caucus, prepares bill

May 4, 2011
Press Release


WASHINGTON –U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta today announced the creation of a new caucus that will closely examine American immigration policy and offers ways to stop illegal immigration.

Rep. Barletta also announced that he is drafting his first piece of legislation, which would crack down on so-called “sanctuary cities” that knowingly flaunt American immigration laws.

Rep. Barletta said he is taking the fight against illegal immigration that he started as mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, in 2006 to the halls of Congress.

“The American people sent me here last November to fix Washington. They sent me here to fix our broken system. I know I’m not alone in that. All across the country, the American people voted in new members of Congress and gave them the same order: Fix what’s broken. That’s why I’m proud to announce today the creation of the 112th Congress Immigration Reform Caucus. I’m putting together a group of freshman members to address the problem of illegal immigration in this country,” Rep. Barletta said. “I’m optimistic that other new members of Congress who are concerned about our flawed immigration system will join this caucus so we can devise some real solutions.”

Also Wednesday, Rep. Barletta announced he is drafting his first piece of legislation, tentatively titled the “Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act,” or MASC Act. This bill will crack down on cities whose elected officials have willfully chosen to not enforce immigration policy by withholding all federal funding from them as long as their sanctuary policies are in place.

Rep. Barletta has asked the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to compile a comprehensive list of sanctuary cities and calculate how many federal taxpayer dollars each receives. Online sources state there are dozens of sanctuary cities all across the country, from Maine to California.

“The elected officials of more than a hundred American cities – including some of our largest cities in the country – willfully ignore federal immigration policy by declaring themselves ‘sanctuary cities.’ Local elected officials who choose to ignore enforcement of federal immigration policy are aiding and assisting illegal aliens, and it is illegal to aid and abet those who are in this country illegally. They should not receive millions or even billions in tax dollars as a reward,” Rep. Barletta said.

“Elected officials of local municipalities cannot pick and choose the federal laws they enforce,” he added. “If the elected leaders of these cities choose to ignore federal law, then they should not expect to get federal money. My bill will keep federal tax dollars from going to cities whose elected officials defy federal law.”

Click here to view Representative Barletta's Complete Remarks.