Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005

By:  Charlie Bass
Date: Dec. 16, 2005
Location: Washington, DC


BORDER PROTECTION, ANTITERRORISM, AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION CONTROL ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - December 16, 2005)

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AMENDMENT NO. 8 OFFERED BY MS. VELÁZQUEZ

Ms. VELÁZQUEZ. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

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Mr. BASS. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment.

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I stand today in strong support of the Norwood Amendment, which will provide State and local law enforcement the necessary authority, resources, and intelligence needed to apprehend and detain illegal aliens that they encounter during their routine duties. The President in his recent comprehensive immigration strategy has called for an elimination of ``catch-and-release'' at our national border and it essential that this is expanded to include incidents within the interior of the country.

Over 400,000 alien absconders and more than 85,000 criminal illegal aliens are in our country. Tragically, many of these criminal aliens remain loose within our borders and continue to commit violent crimes in our neighborhoods, such as Eduardo Campos Rodriquez, an illegal immigrant wanted for four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder. We can not allow cases like this to continue to threaten the safety of our citizens in their communities.

Illegal immigration is a national problem--not one only occurring in the communities along the southern border. Throughout the country, State and local law enforcement are confronted with this problem everyday from large urban cities to the smallest and most rural communities. Unfortunately, our State and local law enforcement officers lack the critical information, necessary resources, and clear authority to detain and process these individuals. Recently, my district has been in the national spotlight concerning the various strategies that local and State law enforcement are attempting to use to address their illegal immigration problem in the absence of federal guidance. Recent incidents in New Ipswich, New Hampshire and Hudson, New Hampshire forced police officers to release illegal aliens whom they had detained during the course of their normal duties due to a lack of assistance from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. In response to having to repeatedly release illegal aliens, the towns' law enforcement officers attempted to apply New Hampshire trespassing laws to these illegal aliens, so they would have the authority to detain the individuals for a longer period of time in hopes that ICE would then be able to take custody. Even though this strategy has not held up in the courts, it illustrates the need for this essential amendment to give law enforcement the authority, resources, and intelligence to respond to the unique challenges presented by illegal aliens. It is important to point out these incidents happen in relatively small communities--the town of Hudson with a population of 24,000 and the town of New Ipswich with a population of 5,000.

Overall, State and local law enforcement are looking to Congress to provide them with the vital resources, information and authority to address this serious security concern. I strongly believe that the nation's security must remain our highest priority, and local involvement in security solutions is critical to achieving this goal. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on the Norwood amendment.

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