Congressman Lamar Smith

Representing the 21st District of Texas
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
YouTube icon
RSS icon

Texas Republicans to Obama: Enforce Immigration Laws

Jul 24, 2014
Press Release

Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) today sent a letter to President Obama signed by all 24 Texas Republican Members of the House of Representatives and both Senators.

The letter in part read: “Mr. President, you have the authority to stop the surge of illegal entries by immigrant minors today. Enforcing current immigration laws will go a long way to solving the border crisis.”

Complete text of the letter can be found below:

 

July 24, 2014

 

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500


Dear Mr. President,

As members of the Texas delegation, we watch our state endure the impact of illegal immigrant children streaming across our border. Our hearts go out to those who have suffered during their long journeys to the United States.

But we cannot allow this tragedy to continue. A country that has lost control of its borders has lost control of its future.

Mr. President, you have the authority to stop the surge of illegal entries by immigrant minors today. Enforcing current immigration laws will go a long way to solving the border crisis.

We therefore urge you to take the following actions to address the current national security and humanitarian crisis on the Southern Border:

1. Suspend your efforts to issue new Executive Orders that weaken enforcement of our immigration laws.  Your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Executive Order has shielded over half a million illegal immigrants from current law.  And it has sent the regrettable message that illegal immigration will not be punished in the United States.

2. End the catch-and-release policy that gives convicted criminal immigrants and illegal immigrants a free pass.  Last year, 36,000 criminal immigrants with 88,000 convictions were released from jail to roam our neighborhoods and commit additional crimes instead of being detained and deported.

3. Improve cooperation with local law enforcement agencies so they can help enforce our immigration laws and identify criminal immigrants.

4. Don’t tolerate immigration fraud, which encourages more illegal immigrants to make false claims so they can remain in the United States.

5. Expedite the processing and removal of illegal immigrants who are apprehended at our Southern Border.  We can only deter future waves of illegal immigration through swift and certain enforcement of our immigration laws.

Your administration has used existing laws as an excuse for your failure to end the national security and humanitarian crisis on our Southern Border.  However, the majority of immigrants apprehended at the border during this crisis can be legally repatriated immediately.  Instead, you have permitted almost all to remain in the United States, further encouraging illegal immigration.

Please take the actions cited above to enforce our immigration laws and restore order on the Southern Border.  This will save lives and discourage those you have enticed to enter illegally through your current policies.
 

Twenty-five members joined Rep. Smith in calling for the President to stop the illegal surge on the southern border, including:  Rep. Joe Barton (TX-06), Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-08), Rep. Michael Burgess (TX-26), Rep. John Carter (TX-31), Rep. Michael Conaway (TX-11), Rep. John Culberson (TX-07), Rep. Blake Farenthold (TX-27), Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17), Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Rep. Kay Granger (TX-12), Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04), Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX-05), Rep. Sam Johnson (TX-03), Rep. Kenny Marchant (TX-24), Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-10), Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX-19), Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22), Rep. Ted Poe (TX-02), Rep. Pete Sessions (TX-32), Steve Stockman (TX-36), Rep. Mac Thornberry (TX-13), Rep. Randy Weber (TX-14), Rep. Roger Williams (TX-25), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).