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Immigration Reform Caucus Statements on Senator Reid's Plan to Include Immigration in the Defense Authorization Bill

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Brian Bilbray, Chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus, and other members of the Caucus, had the following to say in response to today's announcement that Senator Harry Reid will add the DREAM Act, an act that gives amnesty to certain illegal immigrants in the United States, to the bill that will fund the Department of Defense throughout the next year:

Congressman Bilbray (CA-50), Chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus, said, "When American men and women are fighting in Afghanistan and the human-trafficking cartels are murdering innocent people trying to cross the border in Northern Mexico, Harry Reid has the audacity to play politics with the Defense bill while enticing people to risk their lives with the cartels along our unsecured southern border. This is irresponsible, and the United States Senate should not stand for it."

Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21), the Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, said, "The DREAM Act is a nightmare for the American people. It is an assault on law-abiding, taxpaying American citizens and legal immigrants."

Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) said, "The American people want immediate border security and meaningful reform, not amnesty. They are sick and tired of the backroom deals and scheming in Washington - and that's exactly what this is. Attaching this non-related bill to the Defense Appropriations bill is the oldest trick in the book. If you can't pass it on its own, then attach it to something that will. This is an insult to democracy and the American public will not be fooled. Bring the bill before Congress as a stand-alone bill and let's debate it. This issue is too important to be playing procedural tricks."

Congressman Gary Miller (CA-42) said, "During these tough economic times, it is incomprehensible that Senate Democrats are planning to attach controversial legislation that has the potential to grant amnesty to over two million illegal immigrants. This would present a huge cost to the American taxpayer, as the illegal immigrants would be eligible for a wide array of federal benefits, including more educational benefits such as Pell grants. Rather than reward those that have broken our nation's immigration laws, Democrats should focus on fixing the economy and putting Americans back to work."

Congressman Mike Coffman (CO-06) said, "Defense Authorization bills should not be hijacked and used to advance a radical liberal social agenda. As a Marine Corps combat veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee I believe this would be an egregious disservice to our servicemen and women. We should supply those who risk their lives for our country with the resources they need without conditions and without using them to accomplish other controversial legislative goals."

Congressman Ed Royce (CA-40) said, "For every illegal immigrant admitted, an American student or legal resident would be turned away at a time when every state university is raising tuition, and many are curtailing enrollment."

Congressman Phil Gingrey (GA-11) said, "Senator Reid is using our men and women in harms way to score political points to benefit his own reelection by attaching flawed immigration policy to the NDAA. By allowing known illegal immigrants to benefit from our country's higher education system, we are doing a disservice to those who are patiently waiting to come into this country the right way. The DREAM Act is yet another attempt by Washington Democrats to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants who have broken our laws. Our hardworking taxpayers and service men and women should not be used for political gain."

Congressman John Sullivan (OK-01) said, "The Dream Act is nothing but a backdoor attempt to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens -- the American people don't want it, and I won't support it. It's simply outrageous to push such a controversial measure at the expense of our fighting men and women in uniform, and I urge Sen. Reid to rethink this politically motivated stunt."

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