Wednesday, Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Saks) urged colleagues to vote against H.R. 2203, the Homeland Security Improvement Act. Rogers said that, “Congress should use this opportunity to advance a bipartisan bill to address the causes of the border crisis and prevent another one from happening.”
“Over this past fiscal year, law enforcement has encountered nearly 1 million migrants illegally crossing the southwest border,” Rogers said. “For months, record numbers of migrant families and unaccompanied children overwhelmed obsolete Customs and Border Protection facilities, creating an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. And for months, Democrats did nothing. They said the crisis wasn’t real. They said that the President somehow manufactured it. Then, after months of ignoring pictures of children and families living in overcrowded conditions, Democrats finally agreed to the President’s request for emergency funding. Now, thanks to that funding and the Administration’s efforts to reach agreements with Mexico and some Northern Triangle countries, the crisis has finally abated.”
“Congress should use this opportunity to advance a bipartisan bill to address the causes of the border crisis and prevent another one from happening,” Rogers continued. “Unfortunately, Democrats have chosen to squander the opportunity. Instead, they’ve decided to move yet another partisan messaging bill that stands no chance of becoming law.”
“All this bill does is waste taxpayer’s dollars on a duplicative new office designed to demoralize law enforcement and serve the demands of illegal immigrants,” Rep. Rogers said. “It should really be called the Illegal Immigrant Customer Service Act.”
“The bill creates a new ombudsman at the Department of Homeland Security to collect and review complaints made by illegal immigrants against federal law enforcement officers,” Rogers explained. “The Department already has an Inspector General and an Office for Civil Rights and Liberties required by law to collect and investigate complaints against all DHS personnel, as well as recommend relief for the complainant. Both offices maintain tip lines and websites to collect complaints and both regularly report to Congress on their caseload.”
“It didn’t have to be such a partisan exercise,” Rogers said. “We could have worked together to move comprehensive legislation to truly prevent another crisis at our border. Republicans are ready and willing to work with Democrats on serious proposals to: reform our asylum laws to reduce the pull factors for illegal immigration; Protect vulnerable families and children from exploitation by human smugglers; expand migrant processing and long-term housing facilities to eliminate dangerous overcrowding; and hire additional immigration lawyers and judges to reduce the unprecedented backlog in asylum cases.”
Rogers predicted that the bill will fail in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Rogers is the Ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee and is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. Mike is presently serving in his ninth term representing Alabama’s Third Congressional District.