Reps. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) and Ed Royce (R-Calif.) have co-sponsored H.R.100, the CLEAR Act, that was introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). The bill would provide the resources and training necessary to local police for enforcement of federal immigration laws.
Illegal aliens enter the United States in two distinct ways: approximately 60 percent cross a border illegally; and the remaining 40 percent overstay a legal visa. While the Border Patrol is responsible for preventing the first method of illegal entry, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is responsible for finding and removing visa overstays and individuals not apprehended by the border patrol.
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 established the 287(g) program, which trains and funds local police departments to help ICE enforce federal immigration laws. Over the years, however, adequate funding has been stripped from the program and authority given to local law enforcement has been reduced. The CLEAR Act would:
- Recognize the inherent authority of states and localities to enforce immigration law;
- Improve information sharing between state and local governments and the federal government;
- Mandate the federal government to expeditiously remove criminal aliens being detained by states and localities; and
- Increase federal resources for local governments that choose to assist in immigration enforcement.
Rep. Marchant represents Texas' 24th Congressional District. He is serving his 4th term in Congress and has earned a career B+ grade.
Rep. Royce represents California's 40th Congressional District. He is serving his 10th term in Congress and has earned a career A grade.
For a full list of official co-sponsors, click here.
Updated: Wed, Mar 2nd 2011 @ 4:22pm EST