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Public Statements

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. SALMON. I would like to commend the gentleman from Ohio for standing so strong for an American patriot. I believe his motives are extremely noble and good, but I don't believe this is the right way to handle it.

I am the chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs. Brazil comes under my purview. While we have points of trouble with all of our bilateral relationships, we don't necessarily throw the baby out with the bath water.

This is an extreme measure. It would punish a lot of very innocent people who my colleague spoke of right before me, innocent people that are trying to immigrate or come work or study in the United States from Brazil.

I want to commit to the gentleman from Ohio that, as the chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, I will do everything within my power to work with him, if it requires hearings, whatever it takes. I want to help you bring justice. I do not believe that this is the right way to do it. In fact, I think it would be very counterproductive in our relationship with Brazil.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. SALMON. Mr. Chairman, I might add that this amendment was one that was offered by my colleague David Schweikert from Arizona last year, and it passed on a voice vote.

Department of Homeland Security, DHS, has long viewed State and local governments as valuable partners that can help serve a helpful role in assisting DHS in fulfilling its responsibility with respect to immigration enforcement, and it continues to welcome that participation.

In order to avoid complying with their obligation to share information with DHS, local governments have taken on a "don't ask, don't tell'' policy known as "sanctuary policies.'' With the implementation of sanctuary policies, State and local law enforcement officers are barred from asking people about their immigration status or reporting them to Federal immigration authorities.

Sanctuary policies are bad public policy because States or cities that institute sanctuary policies become magnets for illegal immigration. Illegal immigration results in higher costs of living; reduced job availability; lower wages; higher crime rates; fiscal hardship on hospitals and substandard quality of care for residents; burdens on public services, increasing their costs and diminishing their availability; and a reduction of the overall quality of life.

Sanctuary policies are expensive and shift the cost of illegal immigration onto citizens and legal immigrants. Because of the difficulty States have in collecting taxes from persons who are not lawfully present, many are utilizing State and local benefits and resources without contributing their fair share.

Sanctuary policies serve as a perverse incentive for illegal alien families to move to those States or cities who institute such policies. Accommodating those who violate our immigration law encourages others to follow the same path and gives prospective immigrants little incentive to pursue the legal path of immigration when they can sidestep the process and gain the same benefits.

Sanctuary policies also insult those legal immigrants who patiently waited for months and years for the U.S. State Department and DHS to approve their application and paid thousands of dollars in travel, legal, and medical fees to abide by the entry, employment, health, and processing laws and regulations.

Sanctuary policies conflict with Federal law. Recognizing the adoption of sanctuary policies as a growing impediment to combating the wave of illegal aliens residing in the country, Congress adopted the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996 that barred State and local governments from prohibiting employees from providing, receiving, and sharing information on those here illegally with Federal Government immigration officials.

Sanctuary policy denies U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement critical assistance to enable it to accomplish its statutorily mandated mission to identify and ultimately remove those here illegally who are currently in State or local custody.

Sanctuary policies undermine national security efforts and create an environment in which terrorists and individuals of national security concern go unnoticed and uninterrupted.

Sanctuary cities tell those who are here illegally that the laws of our country don't matter. Sanctuary city policies encourage illegal immigration and weaken our Nation's ability to secure our borders. They contribute to a flood of illegal immigrants in this country today.

During the immigration reform debate, sanctuary cities should not be overlooked. This policy is creating an even bigger illegal immigration problem.

With money so tight these days, cities which are purposely skirting Federal law should not benefit from Federal law enforcement funding. The funds should be used for those cities who are actively enforcing the law.

So, in a nutshell, what this amendment would do is disallow any funds from this particular legislation to go to sanctuary cities.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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