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Members of Congress speak out against Amnesty

author Published by Chris Chmielenski

Several Members of Congress have come out against the amnesty proposals offered by Pres. Obama dn the bipartisan Senate Gang of Eight. Here’s a list of those Members and their statements.Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL): “Americans overwhelmingly oppose illegal immigration. They have pleaded with Congress to end the mass illegality for decades to little avail. All the while, millions have been added to the total of those illegally here.” Watch floor speech
Sen. David Vitter (LA): “There was a so-called immigration reform proposal that passed into law, and  the model was, very simple. We’re going to get serious about enforcement. We really, really are. We’re going to have a one-time leniency. Or amnesty and it will fix the problem once and for all. ..Well, as we know from bitter experience, since then, it didn’t quite turn out that way. The promised enforcement never fully materialized.” Watch floor speechRep. Virginia Foxx (NC-5): Our country’s immigration system is broken and badly burdening taxpayers. The first step to reform has to be securing our porous borders once and for all. Until actual legislation is made available, I cannot pass judgment on fluid, on-going deliberations among Senators. But it is my hope to see common-sense immigration reform accomplished through bipartisan collaboration that rewards those who, for years, have been obeying the rule of law as they wait for a shot at the American Dream.

Rep. Howard Cobble (NC-6): For many years, I have maintained that we need comprehensive immigration reform that includes securing the border, implementing an effective guest worker program, and addressing the situation of illegal aliens already in the United States without granting amnesty. I am willing to look at any and all proposals that will be put before us. As a senior member of the House Judiciary committee, I am sure that we will review serious immigration reform this year.

Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-8): Reforming our broken and inefficient immigration system is necessary for economic growth and a secure homeland. I am encouraged that a bipartisan group of Senators has put forward a proposal that will jumpstart a much-needed discussion; however, I need to see details in a bill to determine if it strengthens our borders and includes assurances that undocumented immigrants will not receive public benefits. I strongly believe first and foremost that our top priority needs to be achieving operational control of the border. Once that is successfully achieved, the next step of reform is putting a comprehensive system in place to identify immigrants that employers need for critical industries like agriculture that are the backbone of North Carolina’s economy. What I will not support is a plan that puts illegal immigrants in line ahead of those who have abided by our legal process.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC-10): This kind of backroom deal making has been tried by a small group of Senators in the past. The American people deserve an open and fair legislative process, not more deals cut behind closed doors. I’ll reserve judgment until legislation makes its way through our committee process and I continue to believe that any sensible immigration reform must start with securing our borders.

Rep. Steve Pearce (NM-2): “The Senate plan still incentivizes illegal entry as a path to citizenship.” He said reform should include a chance for illegal immigrants to become guest workers, but not citizens.

Rep. John Shimkus (IL-15): “I think that both chambers, both sides, are moving together toward a reform. The issue is now about legal process. I think you owe it to the people who follow the rules to be first. At a minimum, folks who may have come here illegally but have kids who are legal by birth, at a minimum I would say they go to the end of the line. You can’t incentivize if we’re a country of rules. Don’t reward the people who broke the law and give them a free pass to the head of the line. That’s probably where most of the debate will be.”

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-5): “The devil is in the details. I want to see actual legislation and assess the intended and unintended consequences of the policies. Extending amnesty to those who came here illegally or overstayed their visas is dangerous waters,” he said in a statement. “We are a nation of laws, and I will evaluate any proposal through that matrix.”

Rep. Steve Chabot (OH-1): I oppose this latest so-called comprehensive immigration reform plan, for a number of reasons.

Rep. Lou Barletta (PA-11): The president’s plan to push for a clear pathway to citizenship, without meaningful border security first, will only make the problem worse. The proposed pathway to citizenship will undoubtedly encourage millions more to flock to our country illegally, consequently taking advantage of the benefits that American citizenship has to offer.

Rep. Ron Barber (AZ-8): Congressman Ron Barber supports an immigration plan, but he said he would not support an amnesty program. “That’s not the right way to go. The right way to go is to make sure the people who are here are brought into the public eye and light and that they go to the back of the line and conventionally earn their way to legal status,” said Barber.

Rep. Joe Heck (NV-3): Rep. Joe Heck opposes a pathway to citizenship for adult undocumented immigrants, his office said, and a Dream Act solution for younger immigrants might or might not get his support, depending on the specifics.

Rep. Sean Duffy (WI-7): He sounded reluctant to support the measure, saying his concern is in securing the border and making sure those who are here illegally are not effectively put to the “front of the line.” “To let people here illegally have amnesty, I think we tried that in the ’80s and it didn’t work too well.”

Rep. Labrador (ID-1): He doesn’t favor new pathways to citizenship for Mexicans and others who have come across the southern border illegally. But legislation is needed that allows them to come out of the shadows for a guest-worker program. “What I suggest we do is create a real guest-worker program, something that works for the future, not just that deals with the 12 million who are here,” he said. The cost to find and deport that many people is too high, he said. If they won’t register to work, however, “We kick them out,” he said.

Rep. Mo Brooks (AL-5): “It’s sending the wrong message when the very first act that they have when they step on American soil is to break American laws,” Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks said following the President’s comments. “I’d just have those folks not become citizens of our country. I want law abiding people.”

Sen. Mike Lee (UT): “These guidelines contemplate a policy that will grant special benefits to illegal immigrants based on their unlawful presence in the country. Reforms to our complex and dysfunctional immigration system should not in any way favor those who came here illegally over the millions of applicants who seek to come here lawfully,” Lee said in a statement. “Additionally, the framework carves out a special exception for agricultural workers that has little justification.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (TX): There are some good elements in this proposal, especially increasing the resources and manpower to secure our border and also improving and streamlining legal immigration. However, I have deep concerns with the proposed path to citizenship. To allow those who came here illegally to be placed on such a path is both inconsistent with rule of law and profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants who waited years, if not decades, to come to America legally.

Rep. Steve Stockman (TX-26): I will not be supporting the Senate’s proposed “immigration reform” should it reach the House. I cannot and will not support any immigration reform proposal that institutes an amnesty program or does not begin with a comprehensive plan to secure the borders.

Rep. Michael Burgess (TX-26): “While the Senate proposal includes several provisions aimed at improving the enforcement of our current immigration laws, it fails to ensure the integrity of the legal immigration process. We need to ensure that our borders are secure and employers are hiring those who are legal to work in America. We have programs in place, such as E-verify, that make employment verification easy and efficient. I am adamant about enforcement, especially when employers go outside the law and hire those who are not here legally. Rewarding those who enter this country illegally is not only reckless, but blocks opportunities for the 12 million American citizens who are currently unemployed and costs taxpayers more money.”
Rep. Dana Rohbacher (CA-48): “This is a despicable attempt to force amnesty on us by threatening to with hold [sic] border & domestic security measures.”

Rep. Peter King (NY-2): “This is going to be a long process,” Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) said. “As I see this plan now, I couldn’t support it because it would allow 11 million [undocumented immigrants] to stay in this country illegally . . . It’s very difficult for me to support something that allows that type of amnesty.”

Sen. Deb Fischer (NE): “You cannot reward people with citizenship who have broken the laws,” the Republican senator said during a conference call from Washington.

Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-5): Securing our border immediately is non-negotiable. This must happen before we reform our broken immigration system.

Rep. Robert Hurt (VA-5): “I think we also have to recognize there is a rule of law in this country and we should be very careful about any solution that rewards people for illegal behavior. Those are things that I’ll be looking at,” Hurt said about the immigration reform.

Sen. John Boozman (AR): The reality is this problem exists because we have immigration laws on the books that are not being enforced. After years of extreme neglect by the federal government, our nation is facing an immigration crisis. Federal laws go unenforced, leaving cash-strapped local and state governments to fend for themselves and use resources they do not have to absorb millions of illegal immigrants. Adding more rules to the books without enforcing the ones we have will do little good in the long run. One thing is certain: if the President insists on amnesty we aren’t going to get very far. Amnesty is a non-starter. We must not reward people for breaking the law. I will continue to oppose amnesty proposals and I remain committed to working towards a real solution that addresses the crisis at our borders.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-2): “I’m not for amnesty in any form. I don’t mean to be cold-hearted, but a blanket amnesty is not the answer,” said Mullin.Rep. Kenny Marchant (TX-24):  The proposals offered by President Obama and members of the Senate are not suitable solutions for America’s broken immigration system. Both call for a ‘path to citizenship’ for the eleven million illegal immigrants presently in the United States. This is amnesty and I do not support that approach. Americans are a compassionate people but also live by the rule of law. If we provide a free-pass to those who break the law, it only encourages others to do the same. We cannot afford millions of more undocumented aliens coming into the U.S. and taking advantage of services at taxpayers’ expense. The border must be secured now. We cannot rely on the promises of some in Washington to do it after they have accomplished other parts of their misguided immigration agenda. Ending illegal immigration is imperative for job growth and national security. I will not support any legislation that proposes outright amnesty. Rep. Trey Radel (FL-19): “Any immigration plan must first secure our borders and ensure that we have a sound legal immigration system. We cannot reward illegal behavior with something treasured across the globe — American citizenship.” Sen. Johnny Isakson (GA): As I have stated in the past, when it comes to illegal immigration, it is absolutely critical to our state and to this nation that we first secure the borders, honor those who have come here legally by not offering amnesty, and restore credibility to our broken immigration system. While I believe that immigration reform is an important issue that needs to be addressed, I will reserve judgment until I see this latest proposal put into legislative form with more specific details. I do not believe in offering amnesty or any special pathway to citizenship for individuals who are here illegally, and I believe that all immigrants should pursue citizenship by getting in line and complying with the same rules that are already in place. 

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