Today, President Obama will speak at the National Council of La Raza's annual conference. Media reports expect the President to discuss so-called comprehensive immigration reform and the economy. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released the statement below in advance of the President's speech.
Chairman Smith: "With the national debt at $14.5 trillion, it's unbelievable that President Obama continues to call for amnesty legislation. Illegal immigrants have contributed to our debt crisis--they pay little, if any, in income taxes and drain taxpayer dollars.
"Amnesty would only further bury us in debt. If millions of illegal immigrants are legalized, they will be eligible for a wide array of taxpayer-funded benefits, such as health care and education. They will also further deplete our entitlement programs, which are already on the verge of insolvency. Amnesty would also prevent many Americans from getting jobs since millions of illegal immigrants will become eligible to work legally in the United States.
"Instead of focusing on a bill that hurts the unemployed and eats up taxpayer dollars, we could open up millions of jobs for unemployed Americans by requiring all U.S. employers to use E-Verify. This program quickly identifies those working illegally in the United States and protects jobs for legal workers by checking the Social Security numbers of new hires.
"The President should enforce immigration laws, not give those who have broken them a free pass."