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
WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) released a report showing how many convicted terrorists entered the United States through our immigration system. The report found between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2016, 73% of individuals convicted of international terrorism-related activity were foreign born. The report also showed 1,716 foreign-born aliens with national security concerns were removed from the United States.
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security held a hearing titled, “On the Line: Border Security from an Agent and Officer Perspective.” The hearing examined the challenges that United States Border Patrol (USBP) Agents and U.S. Customs Office of Field Operations (OFO) Officers face in carrying out their mission to secure America’s borders and ports of entry.
HAZLETON – On Monday, a federal judge blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order to cut funding from sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities. The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick, an Obama appointee, has been appealed by the Trump Administration sending the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11), a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, today applauded President Trump’s announcement that he will be using his constitutional authority to strengthen security standards for foreign nationals traveling to the United States. President Trump’s enhancement of national security measures per Executive Order 13780 temporarily suspended travel to the United States from eight countries that have strong connections to terrorism, inadequate information sharing serv
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today released the following statement in support of President Trump’s decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):
HAZLETON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today released the following statement regarding the introduction of the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AK) and David Perdue (R-GA) at the White House alongside President Trump:
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today applauded a recent announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will stop providing Byrne JAG grant funding to sanctuary cities.
Click here to watch Barletta’s floor speech.