By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Congresswoman Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery announced in an email to constituents that she will not support the controversial immigration reform package that was passed in the U.S. Senate on Thursday.
Rep. Roby wrote, “Friends, On Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed a massive 1,200-page bill to overhaul our nation’s immigration laws. Though our immigration system is broken and in need of reform, it matters how we go about it. I would not be able to support the legislation passed by the Senate. In fact, I will oppose any immigration plan that (1) won’t truly secure the border or (2) offers amnesty for illegal immigrants. I am pleased that the House won’t take up the monstrosity passed by the Senate, but will instead move any proposed legislation through regular order. That means any immigration bills will have to withstand the rigorous committee process, transparent for the American people to see. If legislation can’t stand up to that scrutiny, it won’t and shouldn’t become law.”
Congresswoman Roby praised Senator Jeff Sessions for his efforts to oppose the legislation. Rep. Roby said, “I appreciate our Senator Jeff Sessions for standing strong in defense of the rule of law. Because of his work, Americans are more aware of the onerous parts of the Senate bill.”
In the last days of debate the Senate added many additional border security and immigration enforcement provisions to the bill to make the legislation more palatable to Republicans in the House, but many conservatives like Roby felt that the bill did not go far enough to earn their support.
President Obama has made passage of immigration reform and gun control legislation the key legislative focus of his administration for 2013. Both efforts appear to be stalled in the Congress. His comprehensive gun control bill has failed at this point to get out of the Democrat controlled Senate, while Speaker John Boehner (R) from Ohio has said that the House of Representatives will never vote on the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill that passed the Senate on Thursday.
At stake is the status of an estimated eleven million illegal aliens living in the United States. Last year President Obama defied the Congress by giving legal status to hundreds of thousands of youthful undocumented residents when his Dream Act legislation stalled in the Congress. Conservative critics of the administration claim that the President has introduced policies that has hampered effort by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to enforce America’s immigration laws.
Meanwhile immigrant activists and business interests alike are urging the Congress to do something to legalize the status of millions of people who already live and work in the United States. Conservatives however say that a second amnesty like the one that passed in 1986 when over three million illegal aliens received lawful status only encourages more people to come here illegally.
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.