|For Immediate Release
June 12, 2013
Contact: Kathryn Rexrode or Jessica Collins, (202) 225-3951
House Judiciary Committee to Examine Interior Enforcement Bill
Washington, D.C. – On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the House Judiciary Committee will hold a legislative hearing on the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act (H.R. 2278), also known as the SAFE Act. This legislation was introduced last week by Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and is one of several bills the House Judiciary Committee has proposed to help address various issues within our immigration system.
The SAFE Act improves the interior enforcement of our immigration laws by granting states and localities the authority to enforce federal immigration laws. The bill strengthens national security by increasing border security, making it more difficult for foreign nationals who pose a national security risk to enter and remain in the U.S., improving visa security in high risk countries, and protecting American communities from dangerous criminal aliens. Below are statements from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), an original cosponsor of the bill, and Subcommittee Chairman Gowdy on tomorrow’s hearing.
Chairman Goodlatte: “Interior enforcement of our immigration laws is critical to the success of our immigration system. One reason why our immigration system is broken today is because past and present Administrations have largely ignored the enforcement of our immigration laws. If we want to avoid the mistakes of the past, we cannot allow the President to continue turning-off federal immigration enforcement efforts unilaterally. This legislation is a game changer.
“The SAFE Act grants states and local governments the authority to enforce federal immigration laws. Local law enforcement officials are already on the ground in their communities and it makes sense to capitalize on their abilities to enforce our laws, including those pertaining to immigration. The bill also strengthens national security and protects our communities from those who wish to cause us harm. The SAFE Act provides a robust interior enforcement strategy that will maintain the integrity of our immigration system for the years to come.”
Subcommittee Chairman Gowdy: “Under this and previous Administrations, we have seen our immigration laws go unenforced, eroding respect for the rule of law and encouraging more law-breaking. The SAFE Act provides robust and exhaustive interior enforcement and guarantees we will not repeat the mistakes of 1986 or allow the Administration to exploit executive power and stop enforcing our laws.
“If we are serious about finding an immigration solution to last generations and strengthen national security, then we must deal with interior enforcement. With the SAFE Act, we will make it more difficult for foreign nationals who pose a national security threat to enter and remain in the U.S., improve visa security, protect Americans from dangerous criminal aliens, and equip our immigration enforcement officers to better do their jobs. The SAFE Act restores integrity to our immigration system and ensures our laws are in fact enforced.”
Witnesses for tomorrow’s hearing include:
The Honorable Paul Babeu, Sheriff of Pinal County, Florence, Arizona;
Mr. Chris Crane, President, National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council 118, American Federation of Government Employees;
Mr. Jamiel Shaw, Sr., Jamiel’s Law, Los Angeles, California;
The Honorable Randy C. Krantz, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Bedford, Virginia;
Ms. Sabine Durden, mother of Dominic Durden, Moreno Valley, California;
The Honorable Sam S. Page, Sheriff of Rockingham County, Wentworth, North Carolina;
Ms. Karen Tumlin, Managing Attorney, National Immigration Law Center; and
Ms. Clarissa Martinez De Castro, Director of Civic Engagement and Immigration, National Council on La Raza.
All House Judiciary Committee hearings are webcast live at www.judiciary.house.gov. The hearing will take place in 2141 Rayburn. For more information about Thursday’s hearing, visit http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/113th/hear_06132013_2.html