Congressman Lamar Smith

Representing the 21st District of Texas
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Smith: Defund Executive Actions, Protect American Workers

Jan 30, 2015
Press Release
Committee revisits crucial legislation that puts American workers first

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released the following statement in advance of immigration enforcement legislation to be considered by the House Judiciary Committee.

Congressman Smith: “Throughout my time in Congress, two of my top priorities have been enforcement of current immigration laws and securing our borders.  This administration has failed to do either. 

“The new Congress has an opportunity to restore the rule of law that the president has repeatedly undermined. We must first defund the president’s unilateral and unconstitutional executive actions, and then we must take further steps to protect American workers. The House has taken the first step to defund the president’s unprecedented executive amnesty. And I am glad our Republican Senate leaders have pledged to bring this legislation up for a vote soon. This must remain a top legislative priority.

“Next week, the House Judiciary Committee will also begin work on a number of other measures intended to strengthen the interior enforcement of current immigration laws. Much of this legislation, including The Legal Workforce Act, goes back to my time as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

“A bill that I will introduce ensures that employers use the tools available to comply with current laws to avoid hiring those here illegally. This is crucial legislation that puts American workers first and requires employers to use the E-Verify system to check the eligibility of potential employees.

“This is the type of common-sense legislation the House should consider as soon as the Senate has followed our lead in defunding this president’s lawless executive actions.”

On Wednesday, February 4 at 10:00 a.m., the Immigration Subcommittee will once more examine Smith’s Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1772), which was passed by the House Judiciary Committee in the past two Congresses. This bill brings the I-9 system into the 21st century and discourages illegal immigration by ensuring jobs are only made available to those authorized to work in the U.S. Specifically, it requires employers to check the work eligibility of all future hires through the web-based E-Verify system. 

Smith served as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee from 2011-2012. He also founded and chairs the House Border Security Caucus.