Mrs. BLACK. I thank the gentleman from Alabama for yielding.
Madam Speaker, the tragic death of Tad Mattle that took place in Huntsville, Alabama, on April 17, 2009, serves as a sad reminder of the broken immigration system that we have here in the United States. We see stories like this in our local newspapers and on our local and national news. They're reminders that we have a serious illegal immigration problem in our country and the need to take action to secure our borders. As a member of the Immigration Reform Caucus, I believe that while we are a nation of immigrants, we are first and foremost a nation of laws. I'm a cosponsor of a number of comprehensive bills that would help combat illegal immigration. One bill, the CLEAR Act, would authorize State and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of the U.S. immigration laws, which means that they can investigate, apprehend, and transfer over to ICE officials illegal aliens in the United States.
Another bill that I'm cosponsoring goes after sanctuary cities, denying State Criminal Alien Assistance Program funding for any State or local government that has in place any law, policy, or procedure that breaks Federal immigration law.
The SAVE Act is another great bill. The SAVE Act would increase Border Patrol and investigative personnel, encourage recruitment of former military personnel and use of Department of Defense equipment, calls on the administration to develop a national strategy to secure our borders and, finally, directs authorities to check against terrorist watch lists those persons suspected of alien smuggling and smuggled individuals.
Defense of our country and securing our borders is one of the primary responsibilities of government, and I believe that those who enter this country illegally are not only breaking the law, but risking the very security of this country.
I thank the gentleman for yielding.