You and I, our families and neighbors, face a common problem. Between seven and 20 million people currently live and work in the United States illegally. They don’t pay local, state or federal taxes, yet they place an additional burden on government services and severely strain limited revenue sources. Because they came here illegally, there was no chance to check them for a criminal background. Their children attend public schools, adding to classroom size and diverting scarce education dollars. These problems keep mounting as people keep coming here illegally.
I am not opposed to legal immigration. I’m a product of it, just like many of you are. My ancestors came here legally from overseas. But illegal immigration is something entirely different. The U.S. is a nation of laws. Illegal immigrants choose not to play by the rules, and then expect to receive all the privileges given to those who followed the law and now live here legally. That’s just not right.
But everyone doesn’t see it that way. The Obama Administration has taken steps designed to make it possible for more illegal immigrants to stay in our country. An executive order was issued last month to circumvent Congress and establish new priorities for deportation. The result: it’s now easier for illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. and apply for work permits. Even more troubling, this creates a back door approach for granting amnesty.
Let me repeat what I have said many times before: I do not favor, and I will never support, any attempt to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.
I recently joined more than 50 of my colleagues in signing a letter to President Obama, protesting his action. I am also a member of the Immigration Reform Caucus in Congress.
But my involvement doesn’t end there. I’m adding my name as a co-sponsor to H.R. 2497, the HALT (Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation) Act. The HALT Act would prevent USCIS (United States Customs and Immigration Services) and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) from granting parole for illegals who commit crimes; issuing work authorizations; extending voluntary departures; giving illegals TPS (temporary protection status); executing deferred actions (authorizing illegals to work in the U.S); and reverses the administration’s recent executive order authorizing the cancellation of the removal of illegal aliens from our country.
To put it in everyday language, the HALT Act would do just that: it would halt the Obama Administration’s efforts to get around the law and would require the USCIS and ICE to continue doing their jobs.
If Americans want to change the immigration process and revise the laws that regulate the status of people are who currently living in our country illegally, that’s one thing. But to do it by executive fiat is something else. It’s bad enough that millions of people who choose to ignore and flaunt the law are living within our borders; it’s worse that the executive branch of our government, which is charged with upholding the law, chooses to ignore them as well.
In the last few years, we have witnessed an overreach of power from Washington as the administration has ruled by regulation. Enough is enough! I was sent to Congress to make sure the federal government returns to operating within its proper parameters and serves the people rather than lording over them.
These two problems – illegal immigration and an overzealous federal government – intersect in a way that’s bad for everyone. The HALT Act is an important tool for addressing both problems at the same time. It makes sure your government continues deporting the people who flaunt and disobey the law, and it makes sure that the government stays within its proper limits while doing so, too.
As an American citizen, you have the right to expect nothing less.
I look forward to reporting back to you in two weeks on the latest developments in Washington. In the meantime, if I can be of service to you, or if you want to share your thoughts, suggestions or concerns with me, please call either my district office in Manchester at (603) 641-9536 or my Washington office at (202) 225-5456, or contact me through my website at www.Guinta.House.Gov. You can also follow what I’m doing 24/7 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repfrankguinta and on Twitter at @RepFrankGuinta.
Until next time, please know that I am always on your side and am actively fighting for New Hampshire’s interests in Washington.