Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC-04):
“Our country’s immigration system is broken. Our laws are not being enforced. And most Americans are wary of the so-called reforms coming out of Washington. For nearly 30 years Americans have been promised a secure border and an immigration system that works for all Americans. Those promises have not been kept and both political parties bear responsibility for that.
Right now the President of the United States is able to shut down the enforcement of some of our immigration laws because he does not like those laws. Nevermind that he took an oath to faithfully execute the law. Nevermind that you have to follow all laws whether you agree with them or not. And nevermind that respect for and adherence to the law is the bedrock of a functioning democracy.
As we move toward an immigration system that works for all Americans and a system worthy of your respect, we should keep in mind the primary function of government is the safety and security of the American people. That is true on the national level with national defense. It is true on the state and local level with law enforcement and police officers.
The House Judiciary Committee is considering a bill introduced to strengthen the interior enforcement of our immigration laws by allowing state and local governments to enforce federal immigration law. In doing so, we removed the ability of this or future presidents of either party to systematically shut down portions of the law to suit their political purposes.
In addition, we embrace the reality that many people currently in the country unlawfully did not cross any border, rather they were invited into our country through a visa and did not leave when required to by law. I want you to keep something in mind as we consider allowing state and local law enforcement to assist our federal ICE officers in enforcing our immigration laws and preserving the safety and security of our border and our interior.
We trust state and local law enforcement officers to enforce every category of law for murder to child sex cases to narcotics trafficking. Who do we call when we hear noises outside of our house in the middle the night? Who do we trust when the sanctity of our homes is violated or our personal property is stolen or damaged? Who do we trust when it comes to investigating crimes involving children, the elderly, those who cannot speak up for themselves because of age or infirmity? Who patrols our local streets and provide security at our schools? Who do members of Congress, for that matter, call when they are in their districts and they need security for a town hall or a public event? State and local law enforcement. That’s who we call. If we trust them to do all of that, if we trust them with every category of crime and enforcement, surely we should give them a role in enforcing our country’s immigration laws. To learn more about this bill, visit: judiciary.house.gov”