If illegal immigrant apprehensions continue at current levels, the United States is on track to see total year apprehensions at approximately 600,000, a level the United States has not experienced since the George W. Bush administration. To say there is not a crisis at our southwest border is irresponsible and compromises our national security. Congress needs to address our immigration crisis now. That is why I am a member of the Border Security Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. As your Congressman, I will continue to fight for stronger border security that includes a physical barrier along our southwest border with Mexico and increased resources for our hard-working border patrol agents. The United States is not anti-immigrant. In fact, we naturalize over 700,000 new citizens each year. Immigration reform is not about keeping people out of our country, it is about encouraging people to come here through the proper channels.
A key piece of securing our borders and fixing our broken immigration system is building a wall on our southern border. I have spoken to many ICE agents and border patrol officials who all say that a major issue with illegal immigration is the volume of people streaming across our borders illegally. A wall will help deter drug traffickers, human traffickers and cartel operatives and make sure families truly in need and refugees are directed to secure checkpoints. That is why I will continue to champion my bill, the People’s Border Wall Fund Act, which will create a special fund within the U.S. Treasury that will be able to accept privately donated funds for the sole purpose of building a wall along our southern border. It will be strictly illegal for these funds to be used by the treasury for any other purpose.
I have also introduced the Ending Sanctuary Cities Act. The term ‘sanctuary city’ applies to local jurisdictions who willing do not comply with federal immigration laws. In 2015, more than 200 cities in the United States fell into this category. My bill will put more pressure on states to follow federal laws by making them choose between receiving federal grant money and continuing to unlawfully harbor illegal immigrants. The Secretary of Homeland Security would be required to submit delinquent jurisdictions to Congress. Additionally, individual law enforcement officers in these “sanctuary cities” will be protected from discharge or discrimination from any state or local government Our job is to keep Americans safe and our country secure, and so-called “sanctuary cities” impede our ability to do just that. Not enforcing our current immigration laws is a public safety issue. In fact, 121 people who were released from immigration custody were later charged with murder between 2010 and 2014.