Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, today I rise in support of a bill I introduced to prevent the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that was unlawfully created by executive memo on August 15, 2012. H.R. 5160 is the House companion to legislation introduced by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and would freeze DACA by defunding it.
DACA promotes amnesty by using prosecutorial discretion to allow illegal immigrant children and those who came here illegally as children a deportation deferral to remain in the country for up to 2 years. The deferral period is subject to renewal.
DACA also permits illegal aliens to obtain work authorization, despite the fact that they are not in the country legally. This takes jobs away from hardworking American taxpayers and hurts our economy. According to ICE, remittances from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are estimated to cost the U.S. taxpayer $10 billion a year.
Last month, DHS Secretary Johnson announced that DACA would be extended and that those who have been protected from deportation would have a chance to renew their applications.
Democrats say that DACA is irrelevant because it only applies to illegal immigrants who have been here since 2007, but let me tell you why DACA reform does matter.
First, the administration will expand DACA. President Obama has instructed DHS Secretary Johnson and Attorney General Holder to come up with a list of executive actions to address immigration reform. DACA is going to be on that list.
Second, DACA has given Central American children false hope that they will be able to obtain amnesty as those before them have done.
DACA began in 2012, and the numbers tell the story. In fiscal year 2013, there was a 305 percent increase in the number of unaccompanied alien children that came to the U.S. That figure is expected to increase by 1,381 percent in fiscal year 2014. Yes, you heard me right: 305 percent in 2013; 1,381 percent in 2014. Those numbers are evidence of the correlation between DACA and the influx of unaccompanied alien children coming to the U.S.
Just recently, I learned that the administration secretly placed 760 unaccompanied alien children into Tennessee. This was done despite assurances I had received from the administration that alien children were not in Tennessee. Indeed, the administration appears extremely organized and eager when it comes to resettling the illegal immigrants in this country. I wish they were as eager and organized about addressing the concerns of our veterans, some who have died while on the VA waiting list.
Sadly, the President and the Democrats have moved from the party of ``yes, we can'' to the party of ``because we can.'' DACA provides another example of how the President is using executive action to circumvent Congress.
Soon, if he continues on this path, we won't need legislators or the courts. The President will make the law, interpret the law, and then, if he chooses, enforce the law. The Obama doctrine of lawlessness is cracking the foundation of our democracy. It is shredding the Constitution and consolidating power within the executive branch.
Mr. Speaker, I ask, if the President has the power to tell illegal immigrants that they can stay in the country, does he have the power to tell legal citizens to leave the country? If the President can delay part of a law, does he have the power to delay the entire law? Where does his authority begin and end?
The President's immigration policies are causing every town to be a border town, every State to be a border State. And not only is it turning America into a country without borders, it is turning it into a country without laws.
Mr. Speaker, President Obama's inability to secure the southern border is also placing America's national security in a pre-9/11 posture. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that 90,166 unaccompanied children will arrive in the U.S. in 2014. If 90,000 unaccompanied children can sneak into our country, how difficult will it be for a terror cell to infiltrate America and plan an attack?
We need to be concerned about securing our borders. We must secure our border. We must end the cruelty of providing children with false hope, and we must stop the lawlessness of this President.