Released by the office of Congressman Jeb Hensarling
WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-05) was in Quitman on Tuesday for a town hall meeting to update the citizens of Wood County on his continued efforts to hold Washington accountable to the American people and to hear from them about the issues that are most concerning to them.
The issue on the forefront of most East Texan’s minds was the crisis along our southern border. “The surge of illegal crossings along our southern border has become an immigration and humanitarian crisis that was completely avoidable. This crisis was – in large part – created by President Obama overstepping his authority with policies like the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the administration’s deliberate failure to enforce our nation’s immigration laws as passed by Congress. The flood of unaccompanied minor children (UAC) coming across our southern border is because of – not in spite of – President Obama’s actions.
“And while the president’s actions without basis in law have created the crisis, he would have most of the tools needed to effectively deal with the crisis if he were willing to take actions authorized in law. Perhaps the greatest action President Obama could take to stem the tide of unaccompanied children coming across our border would be to go on national television and make it clear that if you come to this nation illegally and are caught, you’ll be sent home.
“Sadly, the President is not even willing to view the border situation with his own eyes, let alone do something substantive about it - and that’s why House Republicans have taken action,” Hensarling said. “Before adjourning for the August district work period, we passed legislation to end President Obama’s DACA policy and prevent any future executive actions to grant blanket amnesty or new work authorizations for those residing in the U.S. illegally. We also passed a bill with strong policy reforms and $694 million in fully offset funding that will increase enforcement of immigration and customs laws; accelerate judicial proceedings to shorten the time between apprehension and issuance of removal orders; nearly double support for National Guard presence on the border; and fund the care and detention of those already in U.S. custody.
“The legislation passed recently by the House will not permanently fix our nation’s broken immigration system and completely secure the border. Instead it provides additional tools needed to solve the immediate border crisis the president created. Without the expedited processing and removal authority granted in this bill, many more individuals – including unaccompanied children – will risk injury and abuse while attempting to make the harrowing journey through Mexico. Furthermore, without the detention funding provided in the bill, the illegal immigrants caught by the Border Patrol could be released into our communities, where they can take advantage of taxpayer-funded services like health care, education, and even potentially welfare benefits. The United States is a humane nation but we must also be a nation that respects the rule of law and controls its borders. As many of the Border Patrol agents relayed to me during my recent trip to the southern border, the most effective way to deter others from trying the harrowing and dangerous journey is the safe and timely return of individuals currently in custody back to their countries of origin.
Hensarling called on President Obama to work with House Republicans on the reform bills passed. “If he is truly interested in solving the problem, he will call on the Senate to return to Washington and promptly pass these bills so he can sign them into law.”
Hensarling also talked about recent action by the House of Representatives to sue the administration for deliberatively changing the law of the United States without Congressional authorization. “Throughout his time in office, President Obama has repeatedly failed to execute the laws enacted by Congress. The disregard and indifference shown by the president and his administration to respect the constitutional role of the people’s duly elected representatives in government represents a clear and potentially permanent threat to the democracy and separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution.
“The legal standing Congress has to bring suit against the president isn’t something that can be used flippantly anytime it disagrees with his or her actions. However, I believe the breadth and severity of the president’s actions warrant adjudication and resolution through the judicial branch. In passing this resolution, the House of Representatives has made it clear that it cannot and will not stand idly by while this, or any future president, encroach on the responsibilities and prerogatives of the legislative branch.
“While this lawsuit is focused on but a few of the president’s attempts at unilateral and unchecked power to ignore, rewrite, create or alter the law as he sees fit, it is an important and necessary step to ensure that the executive branch stays within the limited, constitutionally-defined bounds enshrined by our Founding Fathers,” Hensarling concluded.