The LuLac Edition #3420, January 30th, 2017
Today the former President’s Kevin Lewis offered this, “With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.” Regarding the multiple protests, Lewis said that Obama “is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. In his final official speech as president, he spoke about the important role of citizen and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy – not just during an election but every day". (Portland Times, LuLac)
Congressman Lou Barletta praised two executive actions taken by President Donald J. Trump to enforce our borders and crack down on sanctuary cities that harbor illegal immigrants. The first paves the way for the long-promised border wall. The second addresses sanctuary cities by stripping federal grant money from such cities and by reinstituting the Secure Communities program ended by President Obama. Sanctuary cities are those jurisdictions which refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials or obey immigration law.
“Today is a good day for those of us who have long fought against illegal immigration,” Barletta said. “These are all important steps toward securing our borders and beginning to finally enforce our federal immigration laws. I have been fighting against illegal immigration since I was mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania more than a decade ago, and it is wonderful to finally have an ally in the White House. President Trump has been true to his word, taking decisive action on illegal immigration inside of his first week in office.”
Barletta expressed support for a wall, or physical barrier, along the border as a vital part of security in preventing illegal immigration.
“A physical barrier along the border is an important component of our national security infrastructure and I support it fully,” Barletta said. “A wall must be supplemented by high technology border enforcement and a rejuvenated Border Patrol, which I also strongly endorse. Our security needs do not stop there, however, as we know that nearly half of the people who are in this country illegally did not cross a traditional border. Instead, they arrived on a visa; the visa expired; and they never went home. I have once again introduced legislation that would make overstaying a visa a criminal offense for the first time. Additionally, we must institute a biometric entry and exit system so that we know who has entered and who remains within our country.”
Barletta also welcomed the president’s actions to corral sanctuary cities, an issue long championed by the congressman.
“One of the principal duties of the government is to protects its citizens, and the idea of sanctuary cities runs completely counter to that responsibility,” Barletta said. “Too many mayors and local governments think that they are above federal law and place their own ideology ahead of the safety of their residents. I commend President Trump for taking this action, as our local elected officials must know that there will be consequences for thumbing their noses at federal law.”
Barletta has authored legislation that would go even farther than the president’s executive orders. Barletta has introduced theMobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act, H.R. 83, which will stop all federal funds from flowing to states or localities which resist or ban enforcement of federal immigration laws, or flatly refuse to cooperate with immigration officials. The bill prohibits any federal funding for a minimum period of one year to any state or local government which has a policy or law that prevents them from assisting immigration authorities in enforcing federal immigration law. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) lists about 300 such localities in the United States. Barletta’s bill directs the attorney general to compile an annual list of such cities and issue a report on any particular state or locality upon request from a member of Congress. A state or local government would only regain federal funding eligibility after the attorney general certifies that its laws and policies are in compliance with federal immigration statutes. This is the third time he has introduced the legislation.
Barletta introduced the bill as his first piece of legislation as a freshman congressman in 2011 because of his personal experience with the danger of sanctuary cities while he was mayor of Hazleton. In 2006, a 29-year-old local father of three, Derek Kichline, was murdered by an illegal immigrant who had been released by law enforcement a number of times, including by the sanctuary city of New York. Additionally, Barletta was spurred to reintroduce the bill in 2015 following the San Francisco murder of 32-year-old Kate Steinle, whose accused killer was a seven-time felon who had been deported five times previously.
“I view the president’s executive action as just a starting point, however, as I will be pushing my own legislation that would remove all federal funding – not just certain grants – from sanctuary cities who refuse to obey the law,” Barletta said.
Congressman Lou Barletta commented further on President Trump’s executive order of Friday, January 27, 2017, which suspended the flawed U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and focused specifically on Syria and six other countries known to be hotbeds of terrorism. The executive order halted the entire refugee program for 120 days, while also barring the admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely. Additionally, the order barred the admission of people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen for 90 days. In the meantime, the president ordered a review of the screening, or vetting, process until it can be determined that refugee applicants are indeed the individuals they claim to be. The Department of Homeland Security has stated that the order will not impact Legal Permanent Residents, or holders of green cards.
Barletta issued the following statement:
“In a sense, the reaction from some quarters to President Trump’s executive order is understandable, because people are not used to a president who intends to enforce the borders of the United States. It is the president’s job to protect the American people. And it is also important to recognize that citizens of foreign nations simply do not have the right to unfettered admission to the United States. What the president has done is to ensure that we have the time and capability to accurately determine the background of people seeking access to this country. There will be a tiny percentage of travelers who are affected, and of those, most will experience only minor inconveniences while the new policies are enacted. Each day, 325,000 people from other countries attempt to enter the United States. On the day the president’s order took effect, only 109 of those were denied entry.
“In no way can the order be construed as a ban on any particular religion. There are approximately 50 Muslim-majority countries in the world, and this order affects seven of them. These seven nations were identified as terrorist havens by none other than the Obama Administration, and it was this designation which President Trump used in selecting them.
Uh, not really Congressman. Read the first article in the blog.
“Let’s remember that President Obama did the same thing when he suspended refugee applications from Iraq for six months in 2011. I somehow do not recall the same level of outrage at that time. It is now, as it was then, within the president’s authority to suspend or halt the admission of people from certain nations in the interest of American national security.
“Additionally, those who are complaining about the omission of certain nations from the restrictions seem to be contradicting their own arguments against President Trump’s actions. While they are in reality opposing his actions entirely, they are simultaneously claiming that he didn’t go far enough. This completely undermines their arguments in opposition to his order.
“Finally, I will add that I am very concerned about the reaction of Canada’s prime minister, who has declared that his country will accept any and all refugees who want to emigrate to that nation. While we are attempting to increase the security of our own borders, he is advocating the relaxing of his own nation’s defenses. This is a reminder that we should be concerned about the security of all of our borders: northern, southern, maritime, or at international airports.