Congressman Lamar Smith

Representing the 21st District of Texas
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Smith: House Must ‘Reinforce the Rule of Law’

Mar 17, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) delivered the following remarks on the House floor in support of H. Res. 639 - Authorizing the Speaker to appear as amicus curiae on behalf of the House of Representatives in the matter of United States, et al. v. Texas, et al. In May 2015, Smith led a similar brief in support of the Texas suit alongside House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. More than a hundred members of the House and Senate supported that brief.  

Video of Rep. Smith’s remarks can be found here.

Congressman Smith:I support this resolution authorizing the speaker to submit an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of a Texas-led lawsuit challenging the president’s amnesty policies.

“It is critical that the House of Representatives defend the Constitution, which specifically gives Congress, not the president, the power to enact immigration laws. Regrettably, the president’s policies have ignored laws, undermined laws, and changed immigration laws.

“The president’s policies have led to a surge of tens of thousands of illegal immigrants across our borders, allowed unlawful immigrants to compete with unemployed Americans for scarce jobs, and established sanctuary cities that release dangerous criminal immigrants into our neighborhoods, where many go on to commit other crimes.  The House of Representatives must reinforce the rule of law and protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people.

“Mr. Speaker, that is why I support this resolution.”          

Smith also has vocally supported the Texas-led, 26 state lawsuit since it was first filed in December 2014. The suit challenges President Obama’s unilateral executive immigration actions, announced in November 2014, that attempted to give amnesty, work permits and government benefits to almost five million in the country illegally. The orders also did away with a successful criminal deportation program, Secure Communities.