Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today reintroduced legislation to protect agents of the Department of Homeland Security who attempt to perform their duties in light of the infamous memorandum from Secretary Janet Napolitano. Under the edicts of the memorandum, dated June 15, 2012, DHS agents were directed to ignore duly passed laws designed to enforce immigration laws. Rep. Barletta had previously introduced the bill in 2012.
"As someone who has been a mayor and had to deal with the problem of illegal immigration, this memo really makes me irate," Rep. Barletta said. "There are good men and women in the service of this country who are simply attempting to do their jobs and enforce our immigration laws. For the federal government to tell them that they shouldn't do so should cause outrage in every corner of this nation."
Under the legislation, DHS employees who enforce federal immigration law and ignore Secretary Napolitano's memorandum could not lose their job, federal benefits, be denied a promotion, or other similar benefit.
In today's Washington Times, Chris Crane, the head of the ICE employees union, said, "ICE recently proposed a three-day suspension for an ICE agent who arrested an illegal alien with multiple convictions for driving without a license and who was attempting to operate a vehicle in the agent's presence. While seeking disciplinary action against the agent, ICE simply released the alien without charge, putting yet another unlicensed driver behind the wheel."
It is Rep. Barletta's position that federal agents should not be prevented from or punished for doing their jobs.
"These people are sworn to protect us as Americans," Barletta said. "Does it make sense to anyone that they should be punished for doing so?"