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Posted by Randy | March 22, 2013

At the end of February, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced, ahead of the March 1st sequestration deadline, that over 2,000 illegal immigrants would be released from detention due to budget cuts. 

ICE later indicated that the detainees who had been released were non-criminals and other low risk offenders who do not have serious criminal histories that would subject them to mandatory detention.  However, 28% of those released have been charged with criminal offenses, some of which were aggravated felonies.

Further, some of the individuals released may be members of violent criminal gangs.  This week, when I had the opportunity to question John Morton, Director of ICE, about the decision, he could not confirm whether those released were members of violent criminal gangs or not.  Watch the video here.

The Budget Control Act, which set up the process of sequestration, was signed into law on August 2, 2011.  Since that time, ICE has had nearly 600 days to plan for spending cuts; however, they chose to release criminal, illegal immigrants just days before sequestration took effect.

Question of the week:  Was the decision by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release illegal immigrants a valid means for reducing spending?

( ) Yes.
( ) No.
( ) I don’t know.
( ) ICE should have taken other measures to account for budgetary cuts (leave your comments below).


Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here

Posted by Randy | January 31, 2013
On Monday, a bipartisan group of eight Senators proposed a framework for comprehensive immigration reform. The proposal would provide a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently in the United States contingent on increased border security and work site verification systems that allow employers to check the status of their employees online.  Proponents of the plan argue that providing an amnesty process for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants now living in the country is the only reasonable approach to handling the millions of individuals in our country, many of which are working and contributing to the community in which they live.  Opponents of the plan argue that legalizing those who are in the country illegally will costs taxpayers millions of dollars in increased government benefits, decrease jobs available for American workers, and encourage more illegal immigration. They further argue that the presence of millions of unauthorized residents is evidence of inadequacies in the legal immigration system, as well as failures to enforce immigration control policies and laws; factors that must be addressed in order to prevent future illegal immigration.  

President Obama, who has said he welcomes the Senators' proposal, released his own immigration reform plan, which is largely similar to the plan offered by the Senators.

Read more about Congressman Forbes' views on immigration here. 

Question of the week: Do you support the Senate plan for immigration reform?

( ) Yes
( ) No
( ) I don’t know
( ) Other

Take the Poll here.

Find the results of last week’s InstaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | October 04, 2012
This week, one Border Patrol agent was wounded and another was killed in Arizona near the Mexico border. According to news reports, the agents had been responding to a tripped ground sensor in a drug trafficking corridor. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer criticized “the federal failure and political stalemate that has left our border unsecured and our Border Patrol in harm’s way.”

In June, President Obama announced that his administration would grant temporary amnesty from deportation to young people brought into the U.S. illegally by their parents, if they met certain criteria. To qualify for the program, illegal immigrants must be under 31 years old and have come to the U.S. before they were 16. Applicants are required to show that they have lived here continuously since June 15, 2007, and be currently in school or have earned a high school diploma, or have been honorably discharged from the military. Additionally, they must pass a background check to show they do not have any significant criminal record or pose a threat to national security.

Additionally, in July, it was announced that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is closing 9 border patrol stations in California, Montana, Idaho and Texas.  The stations were reportedly closed in order to reassign agents to higher-priority areas closer to the border. 

Opponents of these decisions have criticized the administration for thwarting Congress’ constitutional authority to enact laws regarding immigration, including whether taxpayers would be responsible for covering the cost of the deferred deportation program, how the Department of Homeland Security will prevent fraud and abuse in the process of verifying applications, and how officials would be able to continue border security and enforce federal immigration laws.

Question of the week:
 Which immigration reform proposals do you support? (Multi-Answer)

(  )  Stricter enforcement of existing laws combating illegal immigration
(  )  Enhanced border security
(  )  Focusing more resources on border states
(  )  Allowing states to enact immigration laws
(  )  Making it easier for illegal immigrants to obtain citizenship
(  )  Enhanced focus on deportation of illegal immigrants
(  )  Granting amnesty to the children of illegal immigrants
(  )  Ending birthright citizenship amnesty
(   ) Eliminating the per-country caps on employment-based green cards
(   ) Requiring all U.S. employers to use E-Verify
(   ) Providing green cards for foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
(   ) Decreasing the immigration application backlog
(   ) Easing the adoption process for foreign children adopted by U.S. citizens
(   ) Other (share your thoughts below)

Take the poll here.

Find out the results of last week’s instapoll here.
Posted by Randy | June 19, 2012
Last week, the President announced the administration would grant relief from deportation to young people brought into the U.S. illegally by their parents, if they met certain criteria. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the new policy would grant a two-year deferral from deportation for anybody under the age of 30 who came to the United States before the age of 16.  Additionally, individuals must demonstrate that they have continuously resided in the U.S. for five years, pose no criminal or security threat, and earned a high school diploma or equivalent, or were honorably discharged from the military.

Congressman Forbes believes the administration’s new immigration policy violates the rule of law, defies the Constitution and will put more Americans out-of-work.  He has opposed and voted against the DREAM Act, which was a legislative effort in 2010 to enact a policy nearly identical to the President’s proposal. To read more, click here. In addition, Congressman Forbes cosponsored the Hinder the Administration's Legalization Temptation (HALT) Act, H.R.2497, to prevent any current or planned administrative actions granting amnesty to illegal immigrants.  Our immigration policy must reflect our core belief that entry into the United States is not a right, but a privilege.  As a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee and member of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, he will continue to support the rule of law and Congress’ role to enact immigration policy.

Question of the week:
  Do you support the Presidents’ new immigration policy that would allow young, illegal immigrants to legally live and work in the U.S?

(  )  Yes, the President’s new policy is a temporary measure that focuses resources appropriately and gives young illegals relief from deportation.

(  ) No, the President’s new policy ignores Congress and the rule of the law by choosing which laws he chooses or chooses not to enforce.

(  ) I’m not sure.

(  ) Other (leave your comments below).

Take the poll here.

Find the results of last week’s instaPoll here.
Posted by Randy | January 20, 2012
A recent Inspector General report shows that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials have pressured officers to rush questionable visa applications even when fraud is suspected. The report states that one-quarter of the 254 officers surveyed said they have been pressured to approve questionable cases, sometimes “against their will.”

Such actions by the Administration are unacceptable. Visa applications are often the first step towards U.S. citizenship, and the examination process is intended to ensure national security by making sure those who come to the United States will not cause us harm.  It is concerning that the Administration would seek to compromise both our immigration system and our national security in order to rush visa applications through the process.

Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith has said that the Judiciary Immigration Policy Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the report. I will be sure to share with you the findings from that hearing.

Also, you may be interested to know that I have supported the Secure Visas Act (H.R. 1741) that would help prevent terrorists from obtaining U.S. visas and allow U.S. officials to expedite the removal of terrorists and other aliens whose visas have been revoked.
Posted by Randy | December 29, 2011
Millions of Americans across the nation take advantage of the child tax credit. And it stands now, millions of undocumented workers are currently able to take advantage of this credit too. Under current law, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows individuals filing with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) to access the child tax credit, allowing those in the country illegally to receive the credits.

An audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that illegal workers collected $4.2 billion in the tax credit known as the Additional Child Tax Credit, a refundable credit meant for authorized working families. The inspector general's office said 2.3 million undocumented filers claimed the credit in 2010, adding up to $4.2 billion worth of refunds.  

This tax loophole is fundamentally unfair to those workers who are authorized to work in the United States, and closing the loophole will save American taxpayers billions of dollars.

I have cosponsored legislation, the Child Tax Credit Integrity Preservation Act of 2011, H.R. 3444, to require tax filers to provide a valid Social Security number to claim tax credits, such as child tax credits, when filing their tax returns.  This bill would effectively prevent illegal immigrants from claiming tax credits intended for law-abiding American taxpayers. A similar requirement is already in place for the earned income credit.

Read more about the bill here.
Posted by Randy | November 16, 2011
Just how much taxpayer money is used each year to print government forms in languages other than English? The answer may (or may not) surprise you: no one really knows.

Currently, federal government agencies do not have to report how much money they spend to provide government services and publications in languages other than English, despite the fact that they must disclose other expenditures in annual accountability reports. Without knowing the amount we are spending to print multilingual forms, we have no idea the value of this spending.

American taxpayers deserve better. I believe responsible government must be transparent and accountable and that taxpayers deserve a full accounting of how the government spends its money.

I have cosponsored the Multilingual Services Accounting Act, H.R. 1715, which would require government agencies to disclose these multilingual expenditures in their annual accountability reports. This basic accounting information allows us to know just how much taxpayer funding is going towards printing documents in multiple languages.

At the same time, I continue to support English as the United States’ official language and making English the standard language for all official documents.  You can read more about my efforts here.

I want to know what you think - do you support making English as the official language of the United States? Leave your comments below.
Posted by Randy | November 10, 2011

The House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee recently issued a subpoena to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for a list of 300,000 illegal and criminal immigrants the agency has declined to detain or place in removal proceedings.  Judiciary Committee Chairman Smith asked for this information in August but to date, DHS has not provided the requested information.  Criminal aliens are targeted with the Secure Communities program, which is intended to keep our neighborhoods safe by identifying illegal and criminal immigrants in police custody who have been arrested and fingerprinted.  The Administration recently made changes to Secure Communities that could open the door to allow millions of illegal and criminal immigrants to avoid current immigration laws.  Specifically, the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued two memos to agency officials on how to exercise blanket “prosecutorial discretion,” such as granting deferred action, deciding whom to stop, question, arrest, or detain, and dismissing a removal proceeding.  I recently had the opportunity to question Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on this flawed policy and found her answers troubling and inadequate; I support Chairman Smith's efforts to hold the Administration accountable for declining to detain and remove over 300,000 illegal and criminal immigrants.

Question of the Week:
Do you support the efforts of the House Judiciary Committee to hold the Administration accountable for failing to detain and remove over 300,000 illegal and criminal immigrants?

(  )  Yes.
(  )  No.
(  )  Other (Share your thoughts below).
(  )  I am unsure.

Take the instaPoll here.

Find the results of last week's instaPoll here.

Posted by Randy | September 12, 2011
An audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that illegal workers collected $4.2 billion in a tax credit known as the Additional Child Tax Credit, a refundable credit meant for authorized working families. The audit found that the expansion of the tax credit in stimulus legislation, among other things, to be the reason for the increased number of illegal workers collecting the money.

The inspector general's office said 2.3 million undocumented filers claimed the credit in 2010, adding up to $4.2 billion worth of refunds.

To allow illegal workers to benefit from tax credits meant for authorized U.S. workers not only contradicts federal law, but it is fundamentally unfair to those workers who have gone through the legal process to become authorized to work in the United States. Additionally, at a time when our national debt stands at over $14 trillion, we cannot afford to allow $4.2 billion to be doled out illegally.

Read more in this article from the Washington Post.

Weigh in – do you believe illegal workers should receive U.S. tax credits meant for authorized workers?
Posted by Randy | September 02, 2011

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently created a working group to conduct a file-by-file review of all active cases currently involved in illegal immigrant deportation proceedings.  The purpose of this working group is to overrule, on a “case-by-case” basis, an immigration court’s final order of removal and prevent the court from issuing the order. The act would essentially close the cases of illegal immigrants and allow them to stay.

The new DHS policy blatantly ignores our immigration laws. I believe the Administration should enforce immigration laws, not look for ways to ignore them.  Rather than picking and choosing which laws to enforce, Administration officials would do well to remember the oath of office they took to uphold the laws of our nation.

I want to know what you think about the new DHS policy. Weigh in below.