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Congressman Childers Secures Increased Immigration Enforcement in North Mississippi

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Childers Secures Increased Immigration Enforcement in North Mississippi

Congressman Travis Childers (D-MS) recently urged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to increase immigration control in North Mississippi, requesting that two temporarily-assigned Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents become permanently stationed in the First District. A resulting DHS investigation found the agents' permanent presence to be necessary and the department has begun to take appropriate action.

"The influx of illegal immigrants into the First District poses substantial problems for the people of North Mississippi," said Congressman Childers. "Hard-working Americans shouldn't have to compete for jobs and wages against non-U.S. citizens. I am proud to work with the Department of Homeland Security to increase illegal immigration enforcement in the First District, and will continue to fight to protect the rights of North Mississippians."

In June, Congressman Childers sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, discussing the negative impact of illegal immigration on security and the economy in North Mississippi, as well as the importance and effectiveness of the district's two temporarily assigned ICE agents. In the letter, the Congressman urged that DHS permanently station these agents to further reduce the problems caused by illegal immigration in North Mississippi.

DHS responded to the Congressman's request on August 20, notifying him that it is in the process of working with the U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO) to secure office space so North Mississippi's ICE agents can operate on a permanent basis. ICE originally assigned these agents on a temporary basis in June 2007.

Earlier this month, Congressman Childers traveled to El Paso and San Diego, where he met with DHS representatives to gain first-hand information about the importance and challenges of successful U.S. border security. During his trip, the Congressman gained in-depth knowledge of U.S. border control efforts, and had the opportunity to speak with Border Patrol members, observe check point operations, and visit fence construction sites.

Since taking office in May, Congressman Childers has initiated and supported legislative efforts to crack down on illegal immigration. The Congressman recently introduced legislation to ensure that employment funding authorized by the National Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act (H.R. 3999) goes directly to American citizens. The Childers Amendment, which prohibits these funds from being used for the employment of illegal aliens, won overwhelming bipartisan support in the House last month by a vote of 416-1.

The Congressman has also signed on as an original cosponsor of the Employee Verification Amendment Act (H.R. 6633), which reauthorizes the DHS Basic Pilot electronic eligibility verification program, also known as E-Verify, for an additional five years. E-Verify is an internet-based system that can be used to verify the employment eligibility of newly-hired employees by checking an employee's Social Security number and citizenship status against the Social Security database.

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